Bandung, indomaritim.id – Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Susi Pudjiastuti expressed a strong protest against the Government of Vietnam after the arrest of four foreign fishing vessels (KIA) from Vietnam by Indonesia on Sunday morning (24/2/2019).
“This action is not the first time by VFRS vessels and this is in the way of preventing Indonesian law enforcement officials, on February 19 where this VFRS ship named KN-241 did the same thing when the PSDKP (Marine and Fisheries Resources Supervision) ship of Indonesia Shark 01 caught four Vietnamese ships in northern Natuna,” said Minister Susi, in Bandung on Monday, (25/2/2019).
Four KIA Vietnam were captured by KRI TOM-357 in the northern part of the Natuna Sea continental shelf, Riau Islands.
The four ships were escorted by two Vietnam Fisheries Resources Surveillance (VFRS) vessels, a Vietnamese patrol boat released by the Navy because of dangerous maneuvers.
Through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Susi asked the Vietnamese government through an official diplomatic corridor to provide an explanation regarding the incident.
For this incident, he appreciated the performance of the Indonesian Navy which has become the front guard against the threat of foreign vessels and shows that Indonesia does not tolerate anyone who steals fish in Indonesian waters.
He considers that if the Indonesian government only responds to fish thieves with gentle actions, it will not provide a deterrent effect on more KIA entering Indonesia.
“If necessary, I order to sink it in the middle of the sea, it may be in our sea,” he said.
Previously, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries succeeded in sinking 488 illegal fishing vessels in Indonesian waters from October 2014 to August 2018. Among them were 276 vessels from Vietnam which were most submerged.
Four foreign fishing vessels (KIA) from Vietnam were captured in Natuna waters after committing illegal fishing.
The arrest was interrupted by two Vietnamese patrol boats which intercepted four KIAs for arrest.
The arrest took place on Sunday (24/2), around 7:40 a.m. when the Navy ship, KRI TOM-357 patrolled.
The four Vietnamese ships include BV 525 TS, with a cargo of 1 (one) hatch; BV 9487 TS, with the load of fish 2 (two) holds; BV 4923 TS, with the load of fish 1 (one) hatch; BV 525 TS, with an empty load.