KUALA TERENGGANU – Vietnamese fishermen who trespass into the country’s waters are now found using cloned boat registrations to fool the authorities.
The latest tactic was used by a group of six Vietnamese fishermen found fishing approximately 67 nautical miles off Kuala Kemaman, on Thursday.
Eastern Region Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) deputy director (operation) Capt V. Pannir Selvan said the Malaysian Maritime patrol vessel KM Pekan had spotted a boat conducting activities in a suspicious manner at 12.43pm.
“The boat was using the registration number ‘JHF 2918’ suspected to be a clone, and on inspection there was a skipper and five crew members on board.
“Further examination also revealed two of the crew members did not possess valid identity documents,” he said in a statement, here, today.
According to him, a check with the Fisheries Department also confirmed the registration number used on the boat was false.
He said this was a new technique by foreign fishermen to mislead the authorities.
The boat, he added, was also using drift nets when it was found, and there had been no fish catches made as at the time of the inspection.
Pannir Selvan said the operation to curb illegal activities by foreign fishermen would continue, especially during the squid fishing season.
He said all the six fishermen aged 24 to 42 were detained by MMEA Kemaman for investigation under the Fisheries Act 1985.