Vietnamese vessel, 14 crews detained for illegally fishing

The seized fishing vessel.

MIRI: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Sarawak detained a Vietnamese vessel with 14 fishermen onboard for illegally fishing in Malaysian waters on Thursday.

Some 800kg of various fish species were also seized from the vessel about 36 nautical miles off Tanjong Lobang.

MMEA Sarawak director First Admiral Zin Azman Md Yunus said the vessel was spotted around 2.45pm by the department’s patrol boat which was conducting ‘Ops Permai’.

“They tried to escape, but our patrol team managed to intercept the vessel after a 30-minute chase,” he said.

He said the vessel and crew members aged between 19 and 54 years were escorted to MMEA Miri Zone vessel detention centre in Pulau Melayu for further investigation.

Besides the catch, MMEA also seized 3,000 litres of diesel, various types of fishing equipment and communication device totaling about RM1million.

The case is being investigated under the Fisheries Act 1985 for carrying out fishing activities in Malaysian waters without a valid permit and Immigration Act 1959/63.

Vietnamese fishermen detained for illegally fishing in Malaysian waters.