Indonesia destroys 81 foreign ships for illegal fishing

JAKARTA: Indonesian authorities have destroyed 81 foreign vessels that were captured fishing illegally in the country's waters.

The ships were blown up at sea in 12 locations around the archipelago on Saturday.

Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Susi Pudjiastuti, who witnessed the sinking of two ships in the port of Ambon in Maluku province, said Indonesia was upholding its sovereignty and combating illegal fishing.

Indonesia has now sunk 317 foreign fishing vessels since 2014, when it began taking a tougher stance against illegal fishing in its waters.

Most of the vessels are from Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand.