Jan 14, 2017 Legal Comments Off on Fishing ship captain returns after being detained in Indonesia
Kaohsiung -The captain and chief engineer of a Taiwanese fishing ship returned to Taiwan on Saturday after being detained in Indonesia for three months for allegedly fishing illegally in the country's waters.
Captain Tsai Yun-ming (???) and chief engineer Tsai Yun-Tsung (???) left Jakarta early Saturday morning and arrived in Kaohsiung the same evening after transiting through Hong Kong, with a deity in hand that they had worshipped on their ship.
Tsai Yun-ming said he paid a fine of about NT$500,000 (US$15,822) and the fishing vessel was seized.
The Pingtung-based Jih Lien Tsai No. 16 (???16?), with the Tsai brothers and six Filipino crew members aboard, was intercepted by the Indonesian navy on Oct. 12 while sailing in waters between the Philippines and Indonesia at a longitude of 127 degrees 40 minutes east and latitude of 5 degrees 45 minutes north.
Indonesian media reported that the detained Taiwanese fishing vessel was poaching, was not flying its national flag, did not have a fishing permit and had a crew that did not match its crew manifest.
Tsai Yun-ming denied the allegations, saying that the 100-kilogram fish hauls were for the consumption of the crew members as the Filipino crew was ready to return home and be replaced.
He said the boat's fishing equipment had been stowed away, and there was no fishing taking place at the time the ship was intercepted, but the Indonesian court did not accept his statement.
While they were being detained, Tsai said they mostly lived on board the boat and could generally move around freely. For food, they relied on fish given them by other ships entering the harbor and on vegetables they bought locally.
He said they counted themselves lucky to have a lot of people extend a helping hand, and local Taiwanese expatriates also visited them often.
Asked about the Taiwanese government's effort to solicit their release, Tsai said it didn't seem all that strong, but it was difficult because "Indonesia doesn't trust Taiwan," and he still expressed his appreciation to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Fisheries Agency.
He said litigation would simply cost them more money and not help them win the case because Indonesia has a law forbidding fishing vessels from passing in that area.
Asked if he still wanted to continue fishing after the ordeal, he said he will be back out on the sea because he has no other skills.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel