41 illegal foreign fishing boats intentionally sunk by Indonesia – a harsh message against illegal fishing that has some of its Asian neighbors, including a ‘seriously concerned’ China, reeling.
The waters around Indonesia are some of the world’s most fertile fishing grounds. By some estimates, illegal fishing in their national waters costs the country billions of dollars in revenues every year. Part of their crusade against illegal fishing is the seizure and destruction of illegal fishing boats – a measure seen by other countries as harsh and excessive.
Recently, it has been reported that 41 foreign ships were destroyed and sunk at several locations in the country. Among the vessels were ships from The Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and China. The 300-gross ton Gui Xei Yu 12661, for example, was sunk with an explosive device set on the vessel. The explosives used in the sinkings were said to be low-strength, in order to maintain the body of the vessels so that they can still be useful as fish habitats underwater.
Is the measure too severe? Critics believe so, but Indonesian authorities have insisted the measure is just a means for them to protect their local industries, to enforce their laws, and to serve as a deterrent against the practice of illegal fishing in Indonesia.
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