MAITON ISLAND: Officers from Phuket Provincial Fisheries Office have arrested eight Thais and impounded two boats caught double-trawling in a protected marine area. Intipol Khwathai of the Phuket Provincial Fisheries Office told the Gazette that he received, via the Phuket Town Police, an anonymous tip that illegal fishing was taking place around Maiton Island. The area is part of a marine resources preservation zone, and fishing is prohibited in waters within 3 kilometers of the island at maximum low tide. A Fisheries Office vessel patrolled the area for several days before spotting the two trawlers at work on Thursday, with a net suspended between them. Officers stopped the vessels and boarded them. They found trawls, drift nets, other fishing equipment and tons of fish. They then arrested the crew of both boats. The eight crewmen were yesterday handed over to the Phuket Town police for legal proceedings. The two vessels, meanwhile are being held as evidence.
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