KOTA TINGGI: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has detained 18 Vietnamese fishermen on board two locally-registered vessels, for alleged illegal fishing activities.
The fishermen, aged between 18 and 56 years old, were detained for using pukat tunda gading (which are illegal trawling nets) about 43 nautical miles off Kuala Tanjung Sedili near here on Aug 7.
The MMEA had detained the first boat at around 6.57am and the second boat about 40 minutes later on that day.
"One of the vessels tried to escape when the fishermen saw our men approaching, but we managed to intercept it," said Tanjung Sedeli MMEA director Capt Amran Daud.
He said initial investigations indicate the fishermen had used the illegal trawling nets less than 12 nautical miles off Pulau Aur, while three of the fishermen did not have work permits.
Capt Amran said the MMEA also found about 4,000kg of fish on the two fishing vessels, which were towed to the Tanjung Sedeli Maritime Jetty.
The case is being investigated under the Fisheries Act 1985.