MIRI: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has seized three big fishing vessels off Miri for illegal fishing.
The three locally registered ships operated fully by Indonesians were found to have harvested marine life along waters that were too close to the coast, said Miri MMEA enforcement head Captain Mohd Fauzi Othman.
In his statement to the press here, he said the fishing licence stipulated that for big vessels, fishing must be done beyond seven nautical miles from the shoreline.
"Since Feb 10, our enforcement units had been monitoring the three ships.
"These three boats were found fishing between 1.5 nautical miles and five nautical miles from the coast here," said Fauzi.
"A total of 13 crew members were arrested from the three ships, and they are all Indonesians.
"The ships are registered locally but all the crew, including the skippers, were foreigners," he said.
Fauzi said the crews and the ships had been taken to shore in Miri for further investigation.