KUCHING: Nine foreign trawlers were seized in Sarawak waters during a joint operation against illegal fishing by the marine police and Marine Fisheries Department.
Also detained in the seven-hour operation, which began at 3am on Saturday in the sea off Bintulu, were 115 crewmen.
Marine police in two patrol boats, led by northern region commander Deputy Supt Chris Goh, and personnel in a Marine Fisheries boat sprang into action after a tip off by local fishermen.
DSP Goh said the seizedtrawlers were from Vietnam and Myammar.
“Six trawlers were seized by the marine police and the other three by the department,” he said yesterday.
He said the trawlers were sent to Bintulu and their crewmen were handed over to the department.
“The operation was launched after local fishermen gave us the locations these foreign trawlers were seen operating in,” he added.
DSP Goh said the marine police had since this year, arrested 12 foreign trawlers for encroaching into the state's exclusive economic zone.
On the same day, members from several fishing associations here staged a protest in Bintawa over the operation of illegal foreign trawlers in Sarawak waters after a Thai trawler reportedly tried to ram a local trawler when their fishing nets were entangled at sea. The incident occurred near Tanjong Sirik in Sarikei Division on Friday.
Thirteen crewmen of the foreign trawler jumped into the sea when it was surrounded by more than 20 local trawlers. They were rescued by locals and handed over to the Sibu police.
During the protest, the fishermen carried banners urging the authorities to keep illegal trawlers out of Sarawak waters, and to provide security for the safe operation of local trawlers.
Did you find this article insightful?