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Sources: Annual Reports of NMECC, the Prime Minister's Department (2000 - 2007)

18

Application of Geographic Information System e£ Statistical Methods for Effective Marine Fisheries Law Enforcement in the South China Sea







Year

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Total

January

-

1

1

NA

NA

4

8

4

18

February

1

3

3

NA

NA

8

3

0

18

March

9

12

21

NA

NA

18

7

7

76

April

9

21

28

NA

NA

10

4

15

87

May

16

11

15

NA

NA

12

2

8

64

June

5

7

8

NA

NA

18

-

11

49

July

2

10

4

NA

NA

7

-

14

37

August

2

4

9

NA

NA

-

7

5

27

September

7

6

3

NA

NA

6

5

12

39

October

7

7

14

NA

NA

6

-

5

39

November

2

20

5

NA

NA

2

16

13

58

December

2

-

1

NA

NA

3

8

1

15

Total

62

102

112

103

89

94

60

95




Month/Details RMN Marine D0F MMEA Total Number ofArrest Police ofArrests

January

-

-

-

-

-

February

-

-

-

-

-

March

3

1

1

-

5

April

-

-

-

-

-

May

-

-

2

-

2

June

-

-

1

-

1

July

1

-

-

-

1

August

-

-

-

-

-

September

2

-

-

-

2

October

2

-

-

-

2

November

-

-

-

-

-

December

-

-

-

-

-

Total

8

1

4

-

13


Sources: Annual Reports of NMECC, the Prime Minister's Department (2000 - 2007)

I

Table 6. Arrests of Foreign Fishing Vessels
for Illegal Fishing in Malaysia's Fisheries
Waters in the South China Sea off the East
Coast of Peninsular Malaysia (2005)

Source: Annual Report of NMECC, the Prime Minister's Department (2005) Note: Data on the location and date of arrests for each of these vessels is kept separately by the authors.
already more than 20 years old with economical speed of about 15 knots and are expected to patrol the sea areas of about 40,000 square kilometres all year. Likewise, there are only six patrol vessels, two of which are Gagah-class boats that are already more than 28 years old and four Sipadan-class boats that are already more than 40 years old). These boats are expected to continuously patrol a sea area of about 43,891.8 square kilometres. As for the RMN, it deploys three 230 tonne Fast Attack Craft (Missile) that are more than 30 years old. Due to their old age, these vessels have a limited speed of about 20 knots and limited to about 10 operational days at sea. The Marine Police's law enforcement capabilities for this region relies on the three steel PX-class boats (113 tonnes), two wooden PX-class boats (65 tonnes), five PA-class boats (48 tonnes), five PC-class boats (20 tonnes) and 10 two-tonne small fast boats. These boats, except for the steel three steel PX-class boats, are safe for law enforcement duties within the 12 nautical miles of territorial seas.

Intrusions by FFVs

Malaysia's fisheries waters in the South China Sea off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia are rich with both demersal and pelagic species. With a very small number of Malaysian-registered deep sea fishing vessels (there were only 505 vessels of 40-69 tonnes and 316 vessels of 70 tonnes and above registered in Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and East Johore in 2005)6 operating in the South China Sea, it is unlikely that they could disturb the fisheries reproduction cycle that invariably leads to over-fishing. On the other hand, fisheries waters in neighbouring countries, especially the Gulf of Thailand, have already been over-fished in the last few years.7 Yet demand for fish in neighbouring countries continue to increase resulting

in greater incentives for Table 5. ARRESTS OF FOREIGN FISHING VESSELS FOR ILLEGAL these foreign fishing Fishing in Malaysia's Fisheries Waters By Month

vessels to fish illegally (2000 — 2007)

in Malaysia's fisheries waters.

foreign fishing vessels for illegal fishing in Malaysia's fisheries waters by the four maritime enforcement agencies from 2000 to 2007. The table shows that during that period, a total of 707 arrests of foreign fishing vessels for illegal fishing were made. Of these, at least 133 arrests (excluding those vessels arrested in 2003 and 2004 in which their numbers are not available) were made in the South China Sea, off

TTie Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) conducts aerial military surveillance over Malaysia's maritime zones daily, especially during daylight hours. However, due to its limited resources and the need to patrol vast maritime areas, the patrol is carried out on a selective basis, depending on the need specified by the Malaysian Armed Forces. As such, fishery surveillance flights are not a priority. During these flights, sighting of any unusual activities or intrusion by foreign fishing vessels into Malaysia's fisheries waters is reported. Details on the intrusion by foreign fishing vessels into Malaysia's fisheries waters from 2000 to 2004 are presented in Tables 2 and 3. Table 2 presents the sighting of illegal fishing activities by foreign fishing vessels in Malaysia's fisheries waters by geographical areas. During this period, a total of 2,619 intrusions by foreign fishing vessels were reported. Of those reported, 771 incidents occurred in the South China Sea off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Table 3 present details on the sighting of illegal activities by foreign fishing vessels during the same period on a month to month basis. TTie table clearly shows in which months of the year intrusions have occurred.

As discussed earlier, the agencies responsible for enforcing the Fisheries Act of 1985 are the RMN, the MMEA, the Marine Police, and the Department of Fisheries. Table 4 presents data

reflecting the number of arrests of

Journal of the Australian Naval Institute

Issue 131

19






KDLekir of the Royal Malaysian Navy-photo by Chris Sattler
the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia.

Table 5 shows details on arrests of foreign fishing vessels on a month to month basis from 2000 to 2007. However, there is no data on monthly breakdown for 2003 and 2004, except that the total arrests made are 103 and 89 respectively.

Arrests by each of the agencies during the same periods in the fisheries waters in the South China Sea are shown in Tables 6 through 9.

Methodology

The above data was analysed using both a geographical information system (GIS) and statistical approaches. The GIS is a system for capturing, storing, analyzing, managing and presenting data and associated attributes which are spatially referenced to Earth. A GIS software, Arc View 3.x was chosen to chart out the location of arrests of foreign fishing vessels for illegal fishing in Malaysia's fisheries waters in the South China Sea off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia for the three consecutive years, namely 2005 to 2007. Two important deductions from the GIS presentation were made. These are the locations of arrests in relation to the various limits of maritime zones and the extent of intrusion by these foreign fishing vessels.

On the other hand, statistical approach was used to analyze and interpret data as presented in the above tables. The expected information to be gained from the use of GIS and statistical methods include which agencies are most effective in carrying out law enforcement at sea, periods in which enforcement efforts are very minimal, and the specific vessels that have been most active in enforcing laws at sea.

Every detail of each arrest of a foreign fishing vessel for illegal fishing in Malaysia's fisheries waters in the South China Sea for 2005 to 2007

was entered into the geographical information system (GIS) software. Extra caution was taken to ensure that the data entered was within the specified limits of Malaysia's fisheries waters in the South China Sea. Once data was entered, the entries were tested for accuracy and stability. The process was repeated three more times to avoid unnecessary error in data entry into the system.

RESULTS AND ANALYSIS OF
RESULTS

The GIS analysis revealed the following:

Almost all arrests of foreign fishing vessels for illegal fishing in the study area were made well inside the outer limits of Malaysia's EEZ boundaries. The furthest distance for an arrest was made at a location about 70 nautical miles from the outer limit of Malaysia's EEZ boundaries. No arrests were made in the vicinity of the outermost EEZ boundary limits, which are 200 nautical miles from the base line where Malaysia's territorial seas are measured.

There were three arrests made just outside Malaysia's territorial seas in 2006 and 2007 respectively.

In terms of the locality of arrests for the three consecutive years, the general areas where most arrests were made was about 40-80 nautical miles from the coasts.

Analyses using statistical methods

revealed the following;

In 2000 to 2004, there were 771 foreign fishing vessels sighted in Malaysia's fisheries waters in the South China Sea, which represents an average of 192 vessels a year. However, there was no data available on the similar incidents from 2005 onward.

During the same period, intrusions by foreign fishing vessels were occurring continuously and the peak period was April (365 cases). Intrusions occurred least often during the northeast monsoon season during December (141 intrusions), January (121 intrusions) and February (112

Table 8. Arrests of Foreign Fishing Vessels for Illegal Fishing in Malaysia's Fisheries Waters in the South China Sea off the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia (2006)




Month/Details RMN Marine DOF MMEA Total Number ofArrest Police ofArrests

January

-

-

-

-

-

February

-

-

-

-

-

March

-

2

1

-

3

April

-

-

2

2

4

May

-

-

2

-

2

June

-

-

-

-

-

July

-

-

-

-

-

August

-

1

-

-

1

September

-

1

1

2

4

October

-

-

-

-

-

November

-

-

-

5

5

December

-

-

-

-

-

Total

-

4

6

9

19

Source: Annual Report of NMECC, the Prime Minister's Department (2006)

Journal of the Australian Naval Institute

20

Application of Geographic Information System e£ Statistical Methods for Effective Marine Fisheries Law Enforcement in the South China Sea





MMEA patrol boat (courtesy MMEA)
incidents)

For the period of 2000 to 2004, there were at least 64 arrests made in the South China Sea. It should be noted that there was no data available for arrests made in 2000,2003 and 2004. However during the period from 2005 to 2007, there were 71 arrests of foreign fishing vessels for illegal fishing in the South China Sea.

During the period of 2005 to 2007, the highest volume of arrests were made in March 2005 (5 arrests), November 2006 (5 arrests) and April 2007 (12 arrests). However, there were no arrests made in the months of January, February and December for each year.

During the same period, two ships, the KMJujur (7 arrests) and KM Sipadan (6 arrest) were found to be the most active in terms of the number of arrests made on foreign fishing vessels for illegal fishing. Interestingly there are 11 ships and boats which each made only one arrest during the three-year period. One of these ships is KM Langkawi. Despite its capabilities, it made only one arrest and that arrest was in 2005 when it was still in the RMN.

The number of arrests made by the MMEA appears to be increasing. In 2006, the MMEA made nine arrests and in the following year the agency made 26 arrests.

The most important components of maritime law enforcement are: 1) the combination of patrol platforms or ships to carry out sea patrol and enforce law; 2) the legal power to enforce the appropriate acts; and 3) the manpower to carry out maritime law enforcement. Additionally, maritime enforcement agencies must be able to maintain continuous ships' presence in the required sea patrol areas to be able to provide a show of presence, to discover violations, and to provide deterrence. The agency that possesses

the best of these capabilities will be able to remain longer at sea and conduct patrols far away from its bases to the maximum distance of the outer limits of the EEZ boundaries.

The results of the GIS analyses revealed that most arrests were made closer to the outer limits of the territorial seas instead of the outer limit of the fisheries waters, which are also the EEZ boundaries. In other words, the foreign fishing vessels were not prevented from entering deep into Malaysia's fisheries waters. Or, it is possible these fishing vessels were not discovered earlier because there were no maritime enforcement agencies' vessels present in the areas.

There are several possibilities contributing to this less than satisfactory enforcement situation.

First, the agencies are short of suitable assets because most of their present assets are already too old and their capabilities are diminishing.

Second, besides old age, the patrol vessels may not have been operated to the full limits of their effectiveness and required efficiency. The patrol coverage gaps likely could have been minimised had the vessels of the enforcement agencies performed at the expected performance parameters after considering their limitations.

Third, possession of wide ranges of small vessels by the maritime enforcement agencies does not help to breach the enforcement gap in the deep water zones, yet the small vessels "eat

Table 9. Arrests of Foreign Fishing Vessels for Illegal Fishing in Malaysia's Fisheries Waters in the South China Sea off the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia (2007)




Month/ RMN Marine DOF MMEA Total Details of Police Number Arrest of Arrests

January

-

-

-

-

-

February

-

-

-

-

-

March

-

-

-

3

3

April

-

3

-

9

12

May

-

2

-

1

3

June

2

-

-

3

5

July

-

-

-

6

6

August

-

-

-

2

2

September

1

-

1

-

2

October

-

-

2

1

3

November

2

-

-

1

3

December

-

-

-

-

-

Total

5

5

3

26

39

Source: Annual Report of NMECC, the Prime Minister's Department (2007)

big slices" of the agencies' budgets.

TTre most glaring results of the statistical approach revealed that the number of arrests made by vessels of the maritime enforcement agencies is very low. Yet, as reported by the Royal Malaysian Air Force's maritime surveillance flight, there are many intrusions occurring daily. Tliis phenomenon suggests several possible explanations.

First, the maritime enforcement

Journal of the Australian Naval Institute

Issue 131

21





agencies' vessels may not be at sea as frequently as they are expected to be. For the layman, it is not easy to understand the fact that a patrol vessel of Malaysia's maritime enforcement agency made only one arrest of a foreign fishing vessel for illegal fishing in three years.

Second, these vessels may not be enforcing the law at the right place and at the right time. Despite the known patterns of illegal activities by foreign fishing vessels during monsoon season from December to February annually, and that fact that sea conditions are not likely to be very rough every day throughout the season, there were no arrests made during these three months for three consecutively years from 2005 to 2007.

Conclusion

Malaysia's maritime zones are one of the main sources of Malaysia's wealth. Both living and non-living maritime resources have become the bedrock of Malaysia's maritime industries. The future of Malaysia's well being relies heavily on the well-being of the maritime industries. The analysis above focused on the need to protect one of the most important natural resources, namely the fisheries sector. The analysis revealed several shortcomings. The maritime enforcement agencies, despite being provided with the necessary resources, appear, based on the data, to have not been performing as expected. Illegal fishing activities by foreign fishing vessels will continue as long as their activities are found to be lucrative. Malaysia will continue to lose RM 1.0 billion annually to illegal fishing by foreign fishing vessels as long as the maritime enforcement agencies are not able to convey the message to the foreign fishermen that their illegal activities are no longer worth the effort. Conclusively the data supports that the present management system and

operations patterns of the maritime enforcement agencies needs to be reviewed. iW

First Admiral DRH. J. Sutarji, RMN (Rtd)



DrH. J. Sutarji served the Royal Malaysian Navy for 35 years (1970 -2005). He earned his Master of Arts in Policy and Security Studies from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysiain 1995 and his PhD in IntefratedCoastal Zones Management from Universiti Putra Malaysia in 2003. Heis Associate Professor ofthe Strategic Management of CoastalandMaritime Zones, Faculty of Environmental Studies, Universiti PutraMalaysia

Royal Malaysian navy frigate Jebat at Lima 07 -photographed by ChrisSattler

Dr. NorRasidah Hashim, FRGS



Dr.Hashimisanalumnaof Duke University and holds a doctorate in geography from the University of Cambridge. She has been a lecturer on the Faculty of Environmental Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia since 2006. Her current research interests include historical GIS, forest ecology and heritage conservation.

(Endnotes)

  1. Annual Reports of NMECC, the Prime Minister's Department (2000 - 2004). There are no sighting reports of foreign fishing vessels fishing illegally in Malaysia's fisheries waters after 2004.

  2. The fisheries waters of Malaysia as stipulated in the Fisheries Act 1985 as maritime waters under the jurisdiction of Malaysia over which exclusive fishing rights or fisheries management rights are claimed by law and includes the internal waters of Malaysia, the territorial sea of Malaysia and the maritime waters comprised in the exclusive economic zone of Malaysia.

  3. The Fisheries Act 1985, Section 2.

  4. Coulter, D. Y., (1996), "South China Sea Fisheries: Count Down to Calamity" Contemporary Southeast Asia, Vol 17, No 4, pp. 371 - 388.

  5. Most of these boats, especially those boats that have been transferred from the RMN and the Marine Police are already more than 20 years old. The Sipadan-class boats (ex-RMN patrol craft) are already more than 40 years old.

  6. The Annual Fisheries Statistics 2005 (Volume 1), Department of Fisheries, p. 48.

  7. Mahfuzuddin Ahmed, Pongpat Boonchuwongse, Waraporn Dechboon and Squires, D. (2007). "Overfishing in the Gulf

of Thailand: Policy Challenges and Bio-economic Analysis'! Environment and Development Economics. Vol 12 pp. 145-172.

Journal of the Australian Naval Institute

22

Virtual Memorial ofHMAS Sydney




/7ff*he Finding Sydney ^»J/Foundation (FSF) and the Naval Association of Australia (NAA) have launched a Virtual Memorial on the Internet to commemorate the 645 men lost with HMAS Sydney II on 19 November 1941.

This provides a unique experience accessible globally for those wanting to learn more about the human loss ofHMAS Sydney II and honour the memory of the individual sailors through shared stories and images. The Foundation is very grateful to the Naval Association for accepting the task of carrying the Sydney banner into the future.

The website, located at
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