ALOR SETAR, Feb 9 — Region One Marine Police Force (PPM) have detained four local fishermen and eight Thai fishermen, and confiscated four trawler boats estimated to be worth RM1.35 million for catching fish outside the designated zone.
Its deputy commander Supt Dimin Awang said the arrests and confiscation were made in an operation at about 3am today which earlier detected a Class B1 trawler boat and two Class C trawler boats catching fish in the waters off Kuala Sala near Yan.
He said checks by the PPM on the three boats found that their owners had committed the offence of catching fish at a location less than the permitted nautical distance allowed under the licensing conditions of the Fisheries Department.
“PPM staff detained 12 fishermen from the three boats, aged between 30 and 50 years, and seized fishing equipment as well as 1,000 kilogrammes of fish, and were brought to the Kuala Kedah Fishing Jetty here.
“At the same time, two other trawler boats which were detected to commit the same offence in the waters managed to escape to avoid action,” he told reporters at the Kuala Kedah Fishing Jetty here today.
However, at about 12.30pm, one of the boats was detected near the jetty even though its owner had painted over a digit of the registration number to trick the authorities.
“We are in the process of tracking down the other boat which managed to get away, and we believe it could be in the Kuala Kedah area or hiding in the waters off Kuala Perlis,” he said, adding that the case was being investigated under Section 8(b) of the Fisheries Act 1985.
He added that the PPM viewed fishing in banned areas as serious as it affected the fishing resources in national waters and the income of traditional fishermen in coastal areas. — Bernama