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Indonesia sinks dozens of captured ships during 71st Independence Day anniversary

Click to play video: 'Indonesia scuttles dozens of captured fishing vessels on their 71st independence day'
Indonesia scuttles dozens of captured fishing vessels on their 71st independence day
Indonesia scuttles dozens of captured fishing vessels on their 71st independence day – Aug 18, 2016

Indonesia has released drone footage showing the scuttling of a number of foreign ships seized for fishing illegally in the country’s waters.

The ships were scuttled across the Natuna Islands archipelago on the country’s 71st Independence Day, with the aim of creating artificial reefs.

The government of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has taken a hardline stance against illegal fishing, due to, he says, the need for Indonesia to show its neighbours, including China, that it can control its vast territory of 17,000 islands.

Many of the boats were captured off the Natuna Islands, a point from which Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone extends into the South China Sea.

Beijing has described the area as a traditional Chinese fishing ground, even though it is nearly 2,000 kilometres (1,250 miles) from the Chinese mainland.

Indonesia said the sinking would send a message to foreign countries and their fleets that anyone fishing illegally in Indonesian waters would be caught.

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