Indonesia, Malaysia apply tougher measures to foreign fishermen’s illegal fishing hinh anh 1MMEA nabbed a total of 40 crew members for trespassing and for illegally fishing off the waters of Terengganu. (Photo: Bernama)

Hanoi (VNA) – Amid increasing illegal fishing of foreign fishermen in the waters of Indonesia and Malaysia, the two Southeast Asian countries have recently applied more tough measures in handling violations.

Indonesian Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Edhy Brabowo has announced that his country will not sink foreign fishing vessels seized for illegal fishing in Indonesian waters.

Instead, after the court's decision comes into effect, the ministry will conduct procedures to hand over infringing fishing vessels to local cooperatives as well as educational institutions,  as these facilities are lacking ships to practice.

In special cases, the sinking of a foreign fishing vessel may take place if the fishing vessel resists when captured by Indonesian marine resources and fisheries supervision agencies, Brabowo said.

Meanwhile, Malaysia has increased the maximum penalty for foreign ship owners or captains arrested for encroaching on Malaysian waters to 6 million ringgit (about 1.38 million USD) from 1 million ringgit, and each crew member will be fined 600,000 ringgit.

However, as illegal fishing continues to increase and causes a loss of around 6 billion ringgit (1.4 billion USD) for the Malaysian economy each year, the country has recently increased its arrest of foreign fishing boats caught fishing illegally in its waters instead of just chasing away during Malaysia's application of the Movement Control Order (MCO).

In late June, Director of the Terengganu Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Suffi Mohd Ramli said the making of decisions to detain foreign fishermen who conduct illegal fishing activities in Malaysia’s waters will be conducted through online meetings, instead of at the court as in the past.

MMEA Director General Admiral Mohd Zubil Bin Mat Som said that his country would continue arrest of violating foreign fishing vessels and fishermen, and tougher measures will be applied to them./.