Indonesian navy blows up foreign boats for poaching fish

The crew were removed from the ship before the vessels were destroyed

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The Independent Online

The Indonesian navy has sunk two more boats for illegally fishing in its waters as the country's new president puts his hard-line anti-poaching policy into practice.

The vessels were captured earlier this month on the sea border of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea and have been impounded by the country’s navy since then.

The theft of fish from Indonesian waters is a problem for the maritime nation, which is estimated to lose £15.3bn a year because of the practice.

Indonesia begun to sink foreign ships found illegally fishing in its waters after its new showman centre-left president Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo took office three months ago pledging to crack down on the practice.

It is mainly plagued by vessels flying the flags of Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and China.

“The ships have gone through legal procedures at the court in Ambon and their owners were found guilty of stealing fish from Indonesian waters,” a spokesperson for the country’s navy told local newspaper the Jakarta Post.

 

“We must sink these ships so that other foreign ships will think twice before fishing illegally in our territory.”

62 crew, all Thai, were arrested in the raid on the vessels, which flew the Papua New Guinean flag. The fishing boats were sunk in a controlled manner by Indonesia’s warships.

The country has previously sunk ships flying the Vietnamese flag. There is some debate in the country as to whether it would sink boats belonging to China, the predominant regional power.

The latest vessels will be the fourth and fifth ships sunk by Indonesia since the new policy came into effect.

Indonesia is believed to have captured more than 150 foreign boats. The country’s president says that around 5,000 ships operate illegally in Indonesian waters every day.

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