Boats detained for fishing in unlisted zone

Two local fishing boats detained at Kampung Pulau Melayu.

MIRI: Two local fishing boats with nine Indonesian crew members have been detained for encroaching into a restricted fishing zone not listed in their licences.

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Miri chief Captain Md Fauzi Othman said the Class C boats were spotted about seven nautical miles off north Kuala Baram during ‘Ops Permai’ at 10.35pm last Saturday.

Then on Sunday night, Md Fauzi clarified that it is an offence for a Class C boat to fish less than 12 nautical miles from the shore as it violates the conditions in its licence.

In both boats were nine Indonesian men aged between 25 and 55 including the skippers. They all have valid passports and work permits.

After being apprehended they were escorted into the MMEA Miri zone vessel detention centre in Kampung Pulau Melayu. The 900kg of fish in their boats were also confiscated.

The case will be investigated under the Fisheries Act 1985 for violation of conditions of their licences.

The public can contact MMEA Miri operations centre at 085-418204 or MMEA Sarawak operations centre at 082-432544 or MERS 999 if they have information about illegal activities at sea.