The Indonesian navy has detained a Taiwanese fishing boat and its crew on suspicion of illegally fishing in Indonesian waters. Taiwan’s representative office in Indonesia says it has made urgent contact with the Indonesian navy and foreign ministry to clarify the situation.
Port authorities in the southern Taiwan county of Pingtung, where the boat is registered, say they cannot yet confirm whether the vessel entered Indonesian waters.
The Indonesian navy says that it discovered the Taiwanese vessel Hai Chien Hsing 20 during a routine patrol in the North Natuna Sea -- the northernmost part of Indonesia’s territorial waters. It is the site of frequent confrontations between the Indonesian navy and China, which claims part of the area as its sovereign waters.
The Indonesian navy says the Taiwanese fishing boat had no licence and it was carrying twelve tons of fish on board. Indonesian authorities then detained the boat and its crew and escorted them to a military port in the nearby Riau Islands.
Taiwan’s representative office in Indonesia says it is working with Indonesia authorities to safeguard the crew’s rights and property.