Indonesia on December 23 repatriated 42 Vietnamese fishermen who had been arrested when fishing in the archipelago nation’s exclusive economic zone.
Vietnamese Ambassador to Indonesia Hoang Anh Tuan saw the fishermen off at the Soekarno Hatta International Airport. That was the 47th time such repatriation took place this year, with the biggest number of returnees.
The Vietnamese Embassy has worked to send 666 fishermen back to the homeland in 2015. On December 22, Ambassador Tuan also visited other fishermen being detained at the Tanjung Pinang Prison on Batam Island.
He said the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry and the embassy will make all-out efforts to protect the legitimate rights of fishermen detained by Indonesia.
According to the diplomat, most of Vietnamese fishermen lack legal knowledge, which easily leads to the infringement of other countries’ waters during their offshore fishing trips. Most of them also did not know about the consequences of fishing in Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone such as equipment seizure and interment.
Indonesia has arrested 59 ships and boats and 659 fishermen from Vietnam in 2015, much higher than the previous years’ figures, according to the embassy.
Under the strict policy of President Joko Widodo’s administration, more than 30 Vietnamese ships were destroyed or sunk after being detained.
The embassy urged Vietnamese localities and ship owners to educate fishermen on maritime boundaries of regional countries and their laws so as to avoid breaching their sovereignty.