MIRI: Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) is intensifying offshore patrolling and surveillance in waters off Sarawak.
This follows its latest raid on two fishing trawlers operated by Vietnamese fishermen in waters off Miri on Sunday.
The vessels were detained with a total of 26 crew and 70 tonnes of marine harvest on each boat.
MMEA Sarawak head Commander Mohamad Hambali Yaakup said apart from overharvesting marine creatures, their dredging nets destroyed coral reefs on the seabed.
“These trawlers are causing enormous damage to the marine ecosystem off Sarawak,” he told reporters here.
Hambali said the patrol units found two fishing vessels that were suspected to be fishing illegally at about five nautical miles off Miri.
“From our surveillance, we found that they were casting trawler nets into the seabed and harvesting big catch.
“At about midnight (on Sunday) our patrol units conducted a surprise raids on the two vessels.
“The crew on board the two vessels tried to evade us and escape but our team managed to stop them at about 127 nautical miles in the sea from Miri,” he added.
Hambali said the crew would be brought to justice soon.