Tue, 06 Aug 2002

Thai sailors poaching in RI water

JAKARTA: Thai Ambassador to Indonesia Chaiyong Satjiponan admitted Monday that many sailors from his country were fishing illegally in Indonesian waters, but defended them, saying that they were not aware of the borders between the two countries.

"The issue (poaching) should be resolved as soon as possible by the two countries," Chaiyong was quoted by Antara as saying after a meeting with East Kalimantan Deputy Governor Yurnalis Ngayoh in Samarinda on Monday.

"We from the Thai Embassy and the Indonesian government are still trying to resolve the problem and hope to find the best solution for both countries," he said.

Marine and Fisheries Minister Rokhmin Dahuri said earlier that more than one million tons of fish worth up to US$3 billion were stolen by foreign fishermen every year.

Of the one million tons, 800,000 tons were stolen by Thai sailors, while the remainder was plundered by fishermen from the Philippines, Malaysia, and China. --Antara