JOHOR BARU: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has scrapped off two Vietnamese fishing boats that were seized in June last year for illegally fishing in Malaysian waters.
MMEA Tanjung Sedili maritime zone director Captain Maritime Mohd Zulfadli Nayan said that the process to dispose of the boats began on Wednesday (Sept 18) at the Prospect Dockyard Sdn Bhd at Endau in Mersing after the court had stripped off the ownership of the boat from its original owner.
“Both foreign boats had names of local cargo boats carved on them as a way to disguise themselves as locals and hide from the authorities.
“The two boats were seized along with fishing produce, diesel fuel, as well as fishing equipment totalling up to RM7mil, ” he said in a statement here on Thursday (Sept 19).
He added that the process to dispose of the vessels was made on land following a new policy made by the Malaysian Fisheries Department to not allow seized vessels to be disposed by sinking due to environmental concerns.
“The disposal of the vessels was also to show how serious we are in enforcing the laws outlined.
“MMEA takes this issue seriously and will continue to monitor any intrusion in waters surrounding the country as it is a disruption to the marine ecosystem and also affects the income of local fishermen, ” he said.
He added that some 12 Vietnamese fishing boats have been disposed of since 2018 for offences under the Fisheries Act 1985.
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