PASIR PUTEH: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) of Kelantan have detained a Vietnamese fishing boat and five crew for illegally harvesting sea cucumber in Malaysian waters yesterday morning.
Kelantan MMEA acting director, Maritime commander Ismail Hamzah said the boat and crew, aged from 30 to 54 years, were detained 45 nautical miles from Pantai Tok Bali by a MMEA patrol ship at 10.56am.
“They failed to furnish any document allowing them to catch fish in the national waters,“ he said in a statement which was issued to the media here today.
He said that the fishing boat and fishermen were towed to the MMEA headquarters in Tok Bali for further investigation under the Fisheries Act 1985.
Ismail said that the boat had been modified with special equipment to harvest sea cucumber which could damage fish breeding areas and their ecosystem.
The value of the seized boat and 20 kg of sea cucumber aboard were estimated to be worth RM115,000, he added. — Bernama