The Class C local fishing boat which was detained by MMEA.

MIRI: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Miri Maritime Zone detained the crew of a Class C local fishing boat for fishing in an unauthorised zone.

Miri Maritime director, Captain Md Fauzi Othman said they were detained at around 10.50am on Wednesday, about six nautical miles away from Kuala Niah by MMEA assets which were carrying out the Kuda Laut Special Operations.

“They committed an offence because they were carrying out fishing activities in Zone B at a distance of between five nautical miles and 15 nautical miles from the nearest land area.

“it is an offence for Class C boats to be involved in fishing activities less than 12 nautical miles offshore,” he said in a statement today.

Fauzi added an inspection of the boat operated by five local men, including a skipper, aged between 28 and 68, found that they did not have any permit from the Fisheries Department director to carry out fishing.

He said all the crew members were detained and the boats, fishing equipment and catch of about 200 kgs confiscated.

The crew members were escorted to the Miri Maritime Zone Vessel Detention Centre Jetty for further investigation.

“The case will be investigated under the Fisheries Act 1985 for violating the legal conditions of the licence,” he added.

Fauzi asserted that the Malaysian Maritime Department was serious about violations of activity areas, especially in Zones A and B.

“This is because such actions have the potential to affect the income of traditional fishermen in coastal areas and the reproduction of seafood,” he said.