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Navy seizes illegal Indonesian fishing boat off Phuket

Navy seizes illegal Indonesian fishing boat off Phuket

PHUKET: The Royal Thai Navy Third Area Command, based in Phuket, has seized an Indonesian fishing boat for illegally entering Thai economic fishing zone waters off Phuket.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Sunday 19 June 2022, 11:30AM

Thai fishing boats in the area reported on Friday evening (June 17) that a group of foreign fishing boats was illegally operating 45 nautical miles west of Phuket. In total 65 foreign vessels were spotted, the Third Area Command reported yesterday (June 18).

The Navy responded by dispatching HTMS Laem Singh at around 8pm to check the report and act accordingly if any violations were found. The patrol boat was able to apprehend one Indonesian medium-sized fishing vessel with 15 crew on board while others escaped heading west into the Indian Ocean.

The fishing boat (name not revealed) was escorted to Rassada Pier in Phuket and seized while all the crewmen were taken to Chalong Police Station for further processing in accordance with the law. It was not disclosed what charges were pressed against the foreigners. 

The Royal Thai Navy Third Area Command explained that local Thai fishermen had previously complained about Indonesian competitors illegally entering Thai fishing zone to catch fish and steal fishing equipment from their local counterparts.

The Royal Thai Navy has authority to bust them if caught red-handed unless they manage to flee to Indonesian waters where the RTN cannot act. 

Sinea Phuket

According to the Navy, there have been three seizures in 2021 and 2022, inclusive of the most recent one. In all the cases the violators were Indonesian nationals. 

On April 10, 2021, The Phuket News reported an Indonesian fishing boat seized off Phuket for illegal fishing. On January 29, 2022, another vessel was seized. In both cases information was provided by the Navy.

One more incident was reported on February 10, 2021. Yet in that case the violators were busted in the Bay of Phang Nga and not by the Navy. The operation was conducted by the Department of Fisheries’ Marine Fisheries Suppression and Protection Division. 

The Third Area Command assured on June 18 that it continues to protect Thailand’s national interests in the sea, “which is the main income of the Andaman people”. People can report any violations or emergencies via the 1465 hotline.

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Kurt | 20 June 2022 - 10:31:46

The Third Area Command assured that it protects Thai National interest ( and protection, of course). It just lays handsitting at berth in port until a Thai fishing boat makes a VHF call about 65 foreign fishing boats, Than prepare engines and sails 45 miles out to wave to 64 escaping boats. No air patrolling either?

Kurt | 20 June 2022 - 10:04:16

65 foreign fishing boats spotted at 45 miles W of Phuket? And because the Navy is not patrolling the Thai economic fishing zone, but sailes out only if a private person sends her warning, only catch 1! Navy has poor record of 3 seizings only in 2021 and 2022. This poor record shows that nay vessels at berth until a call comes in not works, It has to patrol active at sea Thailands economical zone.


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