Don’t get caught illegally fishing in Indonesia, unless you want to have your boat sunk.
On Dec. 3, the navy and some government agencies sank three Vietnamese fishing boats suspected of conducting illegal fishing activities. This was done to stop future foreigners from poaching in its vast and rich waters, according to officials.
These measures are being taken by new president, Joko Widodo, who says these criminals are hurting Southeast Asia’s largest industry and could cost the country billions in lost revenue.
The three boats were found in the remote Anambas Islands, located between Malaysia and Borneo. They were unmanned, and the navy attached explosives to the boats before traveling a safe distance away and detonating them.
“The message we want to convey is no foreigners should steal from Indonesian waters,” Navy spokesman Manahan Simorangkir told reporters, adding that he feels Indonesians should “benefit from their own waters.”
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Last month, 33 people were detained and three tons of fish were seized as part of illegal fishing activities in Indonesia.
In addition to lost revenue, authorities told reporters these illicit activities are harmful to the environment, as the waters are being tainted with explosives and cyanide.