Indonesia resumes sinking seized IUU vessels

Image: AFP

The Indonesian government has resumed its practice of sinking foreign-owned vessels that have been detained for illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing in the country’s waters.

This new round of sinkings began when authorities scuttled over a dozen seized fishing boats near Pontianak on Saturday, May 4.

Several other boats are to be scuttled over the next couple of weeks, maritime affairs and fisheries minister Susi Pudjiastuti confirmed.

Indonesia’s sinking of captured foreign boats, which was suspended for several months, was resumed following a clash with Vietnam in the South China Sea on April 27.

During the incident, a Vietnamese fisheries patrol vessel allegedly rammed into an Indonesian Navy ship, which in turn led to the sinking of a Vietnamese-flagged fishing boat.

Officials in Jakarta claim the incident had occurred within Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Hanoi, however, has refuted the allegations, countering that the incident happened within Vietnam’s EEZ.

Ms Pudjiastuti added that the sinkings are Indonesia’s “most beautiful solution” with regards to warning its neighbours that it is serious about putting an end to illegal fishing by foreign vessels.

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