Indonesia says it will mark its Independence Day later this month by sinking as many as 71 foreign vessels that were seized for illegal fishing.

Maritime and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti said Monday that boats from the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and China will be sunk simultaneously at several locations on the Aug. 17 national holiday.

Many of the boats were captured off Indonesia's Natuna Islands in the southern reaches of the South China Sea.

Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago nation, has taken a tough stance against illegal fishing since President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo took office in 2014.