Indonesia blows up foreign boats caught fishing illegally in its waters

Indonesia has been blowing up foreign boats confiscated for fishing illegally in the country's waters. Twenty-three boats – 13 from Vietnam and 10 from Malaysia – were blown up simultaneously in seven different ports on Tuesday (5 April).

5 April 2016: Malaysian and Vietnamese fishing boats are blown up in Batam, Riau Islands, IndonesiaM N Kanwa /Antara Foto/Reuters
5 April 2016: Three Malaysian fishing boats are blown up near Langsa, Aceh province, IndonesiaSyifa Yulinnas /Antara Foto/Reuters

Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Susi Pudjiastuti witnessed the destruction, which was coordinated by the navy, coastguard and police, via live-streamed Internet video at her office in Jakarta. Pudjiastuti has overseen the confiscation of nearly 200 illegal fishing boats from several countries after declaring a fishing moratorium for foreign vessels.

Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago nation, has taken a tough stance against illegal fishing since President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo took office in 2014. A total of 174 illegal fishing boats have since been blown up. The fate of 20 others await court rulings.


Last month, Indonesia destroyed the Nigeria-flagged Viking with explosives. The ship was wanted around the world for illegally taking Patagonian toothfish from southern waters.

14 March 2016: Illegal fishing vessel the MV Viking is blown up in the waters of Tanjung Batumandi, Pangandaran, West JavaAdeng Bustomi/Antara Foto/Reuters
22 February 2016: Indonesian navy personnel examine one of the 10 foreign fishing vessels destroyed by the government in Batam, Riau provinceM N Kanwa/Antara Foto/Reuters
22 February 2016: Foreign fishing boats seized for illegal fishing are blown up near Bitung, North Sulawesi, as the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, together with the Indonesian Navy, destroyed 30 foreign fishing vessels in different locations across the countryAdwit B Pramono/Antara Foto/Reuters
22 February 2016: Smoke is seen coming from four of eight confiscated Vietnamese fishing boats destroyed by the government in Mempawah Regency, West Kalimantan, IndonesiaJessica Helena Wuysang/Antara Foto/Reuters
18 August 2015: One of 38 foreign fishing boats confiscated for illegal fishing is blown up by the Indonesian Navy off of Lemukutan Island, West KalimantanJessica Helena Wuysang/Antara Foto/Reuters
20 May 2015: The Indonesian navy destroy 19 fishing boats from Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines and China near Bitung, North SulawesiFiqman Sunandar/Antara Foto/Reuters
21 December 2014: Two fishing boats registered in Papua New Guinea are destroyed by the Indonesian Navy after they were seized off the coast of AmbonAntara Foto/Izaac Mulyawan/Reuters
5 December 2014 : A Vietnamese fishing boat burns after Indonesian Navy officers blew it up in the remote Anambas IslandsSei Ratifa/AFP

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