Indonesian Coast Guard (Bakamla) detained a Vietnamese-flagged ship in North Natuna waters. ANTARA/HO-Humas Bakamla RI

 Batam, Riau Islands (ANTARA) – The Indonesian Coast Guard (Bakamla) detained a Vietnamese-flagged fishing vessel in the North Natuna waters, Riau Islands, on early Saturday, on grounds of allegedly conducting illegal fishing.

“The Vietnamese-flagged ship was detained during regular patrolling of Bakamla’s ship KN Pulau Nipah 321 in the North Natuna waters,” an official of Bakamla Captain Yuhanes Antara stated here on Saturday.

He noted that the patrol ship had detected the Vietnamese vessel on its radar at some three nautical miles within the limits of the continental shelf.

“When the KN Pulau Nipah 321 approached them, the foreign vessel attempted to escape and increased its speed. The patrol ship’s commander, who grew suspicious of their activities, ordered to chase the ship,” he elaborated.

Based on the preliminary investigation, the Vietnamese ship named Chuc Thanh 7 has 17 crew members, all of whom are Vietnamese.

The ship was allegedly committing territorial violation and conducting illegal fishing in the country’s waters.

“The 17 ship crews are detained in the detention room of KN Pulau Nipah 321, while the Vietnamese vessel was towed to Batam,” Antara said.

Earlier, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (KKP) reportedly seized 83 fishing vessels that had conducted illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU fishing) in the Indonesian waters from January to July 2022.

Director-General of Marine and Fishery Resources Supervision of the KKP Adin Nurawaluddin stated that out of the 83 vessels, some 11 foreign fishing vessels were from Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

He noted that the Malaysian fishing vessels were captured in the Malacca Strait, while the Philippines vessel was seized on the border of North Sulawesi with the Philippines, whereas fishing vessels from Vietnam were secured in North Natuna.