PUTRAJAYA, Nov 8 — A total of 256 foreign fishing boats were detained since last year involving seizure worth RM180 million, said Fisheries Department director-general Datuk Munir Mohd Nawi.
He said boats from Vietnam made the highest number to have encroached into the Malaysian waters.
“In fact, 55 per cent of them were recurring cases, involving the same boats,” he said.
Munir said the department had also detained 2,199 foreign fishing boar crew throughout the period.
“Although our enforcement operation is limited to 12 nautical miles from the coastal areas, the information shared through the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) has helped the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and the Marine Police in enforcing the laws, including in detaining foreign fishing vessels found encroaching into Malaysian waters,” he told a press conference here today.
Meanwhile, in addressing the issue of the marine resources leakage, Munir said the department had revoked the licences issued to 472 vessels for violating the Fisheries Act 1985.
He said the department had also tightened the licence requirements, compelling deep-sea fishing vessels using trawler and purse-seine nets to land a minimum of 250 and 350 tonnes of fish per year, and if they fail, their licence renewal application would be rejected.
Munir said the leakage of national marine resources normally occurred at sea where the resources were being taken out of the national waters directly. — Bernama