Jakarta. Authorities last week seized a Chinese fishing boat under the flag of East Timor, which entered Indonesia's exclusive zone in the Timor Sea, a minister said on Monday (04/12).
"The boat was flying the East Timor flag when it was seized. Investigators found five other national flags on board — of Malaysia, China, the Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore," Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti said, adding that the boat's crew was suspected of using these national flags as well, which is forbidden by international law.
Approximately 35 tons of fish, including hundreds of protected tiger sharks, were in the 598-ton boat owned by Chinese fishing company Fuzhou Hongdong Pelagic Fishery.
The vessel was identified as Fu Yuan Yu 831.
Its crew members — nine Chinese, six Indonesians, three Burmese and three Vietnamese — were led by Wong Zhi Yi, the boat's captain.
"Investigation is still underway at the port of Kupang in Timor, East Nusa Tenggara," Susi said.
Fu Yuan Yu 831 was seized by the ministry's Maritime and Fisheries Monitoring Task Force (PSDKP) patrol boat Hiu Macan 03, after it was spotted by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) and Indonesian fishermen.
This year alone, Indonesia seized 128 foreign boats, 127 of them were then sunk by the Navy, as they had no permission to be and fish in local waters.