GEORGE TOWN: Malaysian enforcers stopped five Class C fishing trawlers for operating in prohibited zones, less than 15 nautical miles from Tanjung Piandang, Perak.
The 20 fishermen, all Thai nationals, were arrested in a joint operation by the Marine police and the Penang Fisheries Department.
Marine Police Region 1 base commander ACP Rosman Ismail said they were arrested between 4pm and 5.15pm on Saturday (April 27).
“All the five trawlers were spotted carrying out activities less than 15 nautical miles from the shore.
“The fishermen were arrested and the case has been handed over to the Fisheries Department for further action.
“The total amount seized is worth about RM2mil, which includes the trawlers and their catch.
“The operation is part of an ongoing initiative by our agency and the Fisheries Department,” he told a press conference at the Marine police base in Batu Uban here on Monday (April 29).
ACP Rosman said the Class C trawlers are not allowed to fish in Zones A and B, which are both under 15 nautical miles from the shore.
“The Class C trawlers are high-powered vehicles compared with boats that operate in Zones A and B.
“This (law) is enforced to protect the livelihood of fishermen in Zones A and B,” he said.
The case is being investigated under Section 8(b) of the Fisheries Act 1985 which provides for a maximum RM20,000 fine, or two years’ jail.