Vietnamese fishing boats captured in Thai waters

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SONGKHLA – Two vietnamese fishing boats have been captured after illegally breaching Thai waters, in an attempt to fish near a Thai island.

The Naval Region 2 has arrested two Vietnamese fishing vessels, with 11 crew aboard, engaged in illegal fishing activity in Thai waters near Ko Kra Island, Nakhon Si Thammarat Province.

The arrest was made through the coordination of fishing boats on the naval radio network, reporting fishing activity of unknown vessels in the area. The Naval Region 2’s Commander Vice Admiral Pornchai Pinthong ordered the arrest. All apprehended individuals are now being kept at the Songkhla Naval Base.

Investigation showed that the vessels and all crews aboard had embarked from Ca Mau and Kien Giang cities in southern Vietnam. Each crew member will be prosecuted according to the Immigration Act and the Act Governing the Right to Fish in Thai Fishery Waters at Songkhla City Police Station, before being deported back. The Embassy of Vietnam in Thailand will be informed, and remain in close contact on the matter.

The Naval Region 2 has made almost 100 arrests of Vietnamese fishing boats trespassing Thai waters, most were fishing for sea cucumbers for medicinal use, according to their belief, which destroys the aquatic ecosystem.

The navy has expressed its intention to further capture anyone engaged in illegal fishing activities, both Thai or foreign vessels, in the Thai waters to protect the country.