PATTANI: Four Vietnamese vessels were seized and the 36 crewmen arrested for illegally fishing in the Thai exclusive economic zone on Monday.
Capt Thiranan Madaeng, deputy director of the Pattani office of the Thai Maritime Enforcement Command Centre, told reporters on Tuesday the action was part of a joint operation involving several agencies.
Acting on information that foreign fishing boats had intruded into Thai territorial waters, the patrol boat HTMS Prachuap Khiri Khan was despatched to investigate.
On Aug 17, the patrol boat crew found four fishing boats from Vietnam illegally fishing in the Thai exclusive economic zone, about 92 nautical miles off Cape Tachi in Pattani’s Yaring district.
Two of the boats were trawlers and the two others had power generators. There were 36 crewmen on the four vessels.
The boats were seized and the crews charged with illegal fishing and related offences and taken to the Pattani boat landing for further legal action.
Since the beginning of this fiscal year, Thai authorities have seized 26 foreign boats in 13 actions for illegally fishing in Thai exclusive economic zone waters.