Vietnam concerned over sinking of fishing boats

A boat being sunk by the Indonesian authorities. Photo: YouTube.

HANOI, May 11, 2019, Asia Times. Indonesia’s plans to sink seized Vietnamese fishing boats have drawn criticism from Vietnam, with one government official describing the plan as “going against the spirit of bilateral ties”, reported the Asia Times.

Last week, Indonesian authorities announced their plans to sink 51 vessels from countries including Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines and China in two weeks, VN Express reported. Indonesia said that the move is essential to serve as a warning to illegal fishers.

However, Vietnam now claims that Indonesia has violated its jurisdiction and sovereignty.

A spokesperson for the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Le Thi Thu Hang, said Indonesia’s actions are not appropriate for the bilateral relations between the two countries. She added that Vietnam has communicated with Indonesia on multiple occasions and has also asked the latter to act according to international law and to treat Vietnamese boats and crews with respect.

She also pointed out that Indonesia has seized 17 Vietnamese vessels and captured 140 Vietnamese fishermen since the beginning of this year. In 2018, 86 Vietnamese fishing boats were destroyed after being caught allegedly fishing illegally in Indonesian waters.

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