The Philippines announced on May 17 that its patrol force had arrested three Vietnamese fishing vessels and two from China for illegal fishing in the country’s waters.
The three Vietnamese fishing boats, with 18 people on board, were seized in Calayan Island, Cagayan for poaching on May 12.
Meanwhile, the Chinese vessels carrying 25 fishermen aboard were caught sailing without permits between waters off Babuyan Island and Batanes province in the northern Philippines on May 16.
The boats, which were flying an inverted Philippine flag, were escorted to Basco port of Batanes province.
Meanwhile, Sumono Darwinto, chief of the local fishing office in Indonesia’s Pontianak, said on the same day that three Thai fishing boat captains had escaped from custody in Indonesia after their vessels were seized with dozens of trafficked foreign fishermen on board.
According to the Indonesian Fisheries Ministry, the 79 crew members from Cambodia and Myanmar were identified as victims of trafficking, and most had fake Thai travel documents.