More than seventy apprehended illegal fishing vessels are expected to be scuttled on Indonesian Independence Day later this month.
The mass sinking is set for the 17th of August, with the sunken vessels used to form artificial reefs. This is to take place just as tensions over national limits in the South China Sea are are at their most delicate.
29 foreign boats from several nations found fishing illegally in Indonesian waters have been impounded in July alone by a variety of enforcement agencies. There are reported to have been several stand-offs with Chinese Coastguard craft as arrests have been made, although the Ministry’s policy is to refer to them only as foreign fishing vessels, without mentioning their country of origin.
Vessels from Malaysia, Vietnam and China will be scuttled on 17th August as Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti seeks to reinforce Indonesia’s robust line on dealing with rogue fishing vessels. Earlier this year Indonesia apprehended and sank a Nigerian-flagged poacher, one of a number of deep-sea vessels that had been identified fishing in the Southern Ocean, in a high-profile event.