Indonesia sank 34 impounded foreign boats on Tuesday, the latest bid to deter vessels from illegally fishing in the world's biggest archipelago nation, according to AFP.
The boats that were caught while fishing illegally in the Indonesian waters were from Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia. There were also four Indonesian boats caught fishing without correct documents among the sunk vessels.
A number of Chinese vessels that were also caught were absent in the list due to unresolved legal processes.
The 70th anniversary of the country’s Independence Day fell on Monday and celebrated nationwide.
Asep Burhanuddin, the senior official at the Maritime Affairs Ministry said earlier that the sinking of the impounded boats would be executed on Tuesday “to ensure that the vessel sinking would not disrupt the celebratory nature of the national day ceremonies.”
Five of the boats are blown up with dynamite and the rest are scuttled at diverse locations of the country.
The Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who declared a full-fledged war against foreign poachers in December, says illegal fishing costs the country billions of dollars in lost revenues every year.
After the latest sinking Susi Pudjiastuti, the fisheries minister, said “We have to be able to show that we can be triumphant on the sea because the sea is the future of our nation."
As a part of the campaign against illegal fishery, Indonesia firstly sank 41 vessels earlier in May, and continued with many others during the year.
Green groups raise concerns on the environmental effects of blowing and sinking vessels. As a reply Burhanuddin says they don’t blow up most of the boats with explosives, they empty the ships of oil and sink them at locations far from sailing routes. He says the fish can use them as “artificial reefs.”