The fishing tug was detained by Maritime Malaysia

LANGKAWI: A trawler with five crew members including a skipper was arrested by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (Maritim Malaysia) in the states of Kedah and Perlis for towing fish in the restricted zone here, yesterday.

Director of Maritime Malaysia Kedah and Perlis, Romli Mustafa said, the class C local fishing boat was detained at a position about 11 nautical miles southwest of Tanjung Belua, here, at about 10.30am.

“The trawler was operated by all its crew who are Thai nationals aged between 24 and 53 years old in the restricted fishing zone and when they were arrested they were leisurely doing towing activities by pulling the sides.

“The crew, skipper and boat together with various types of fish weighing three tons were taken to Bukit Malut Malaysia Maritime Jetty for further investigation,” he said in a statement here today.

Romli explained that such activities of towing fish are difficult to detect because they do not leave traces and are often done while the boat is moving to pass the zone.

He added that the activity of towing fish in an area less than five nautical miles from the coast will affect the ecosystem as well as the catch of traditional fishermen who depend on the area.

He said, the case was investigated under the Fisheries Act 1985 for carrying out fishing activities in the prohibited zone which is below five nautical miles from the coast. – MESSENGER

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