Kelantan MMEA nabs 11 Vietnamese fishermen for illegal fishing

27 Oct 2019 / 18:41 H.

PASIR PUTEH: A foreign fishing boat and 11 Vietnamese fishermen were detained by the Kelantan Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) yesterday, for illegally fishing in Malaysian waters.

Kelantan MMEA director Maritime Commander Muhd Nur Syam Asmawie Yaacob said the suspects aged between 22 and 45 years, were detained at 123 nautical miles off Tok Bali by maritime vessel KM Jujur led by Lt Commander Tan Ah Bik.

“The boat was detected as early as 8.05am but tried to escape by heading towards the Malaysian-Vietnamese border,“ he told a press conference at the MMEA headquarters in Tok Bali, here today.

The MMEA vessel managed to catch up with the boat after a one and a half hour chase despite the big waves, strong winds and heavy rains.

He said total seizure was estimated at RM600,000 and the case was being investigated under the Fisheries Act 1985.

Meanwhile, Muhd Nur Syam Asmawie said the agency would be conducting a simulation exercise to enhance skills in catching illegal fishing boats operating in the country’s waters.

“The task is getting more complex and we expect the illegal fishing activities to increase during the monsoon season which will end in March next year,” he said.

MMEA would intensify enforcement over Kelantan waters involving 27,637 square kilometers with the deployment of 130 personnel, two vessels and five speedboats at all times, he added. - Bernama

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