Indonesian Military Sinks 34 Foreign Boats To Deter Illegal Fishing

  • Our Bureau
  • 11:16 AM, August 19, 2015
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Indonesian Military Sinks 34 Foreign Boats To Deter Illegal Fishing
A fishing ship on fire as part of Indonesia's Independence Day commemoration (Photo: Indonesia Maritime and Fishery Ministry)

Tjhe Indonesian military sunk 34 confiscated foreign vessels on Tuesday to deter illegal fishing.

The boats from Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia were sunk as part of events to celebrate 70 years since the proclamation of Indonesian independence, Bangkok Post reported Monday.

All the vessels were exploded at several locations across the archipelago of more than 17,000 islands. They had been caught illegally fishing in Indonesian waters.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who is heading the campaign said that illegal fishing costs the nation billions of dollars in lost revenues every year.

Foreign trawlers had already been sunk on several occasions in recent months.

"We have to be able to show that we can be triumphant on the sea because the sea is the future of our nation," Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti, a key figure in the campaign to stop illegal fishing, said in a statement after the latest sinking.

Four Indonesian boats, which were caught fishing without proper documents also have been sunk.

“Five of the boats were blown up with dynamite while the others were scuttled,” said Asep Burhanudin, a senior official at the maritime affairs ministry.

The decision to scuttling the boats is taken after concerns from green groups about the environmental impact of blowing up vessels, the government's preferred method in the past.

The boats that were scuttled could act as artificial reefs for fish, Burhanudin added.

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