2 Sri Lankan-registered boats intercepted in Seychelles' waters; suspected of illegal fishing
Seychelles Coast Guard patrol boat La Fleche escorting one of the intercepted vessels. (Seychelles Coast Guard)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Two Sri Lankan-registered fishing boats have been intercepted in the Seychelles’ waters on suspicion of fishing illegally by the Seychelles Coast Guard.
According to a joint press communique from the Coast Guard and the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces on Friday, both vessels were intercepted by local patrol vessel -- La Fleche.
The communique said that “one of the boats named Speed Bird with five crew was first spotted and confronted by a local fishing vessel operating south of Mahe on Thursday December 05, 2019. Seychelles Coast Guard Patrol Boat La Fleche that was on patrol was diverted to intervene.”
The other vessel named Maduka was spotted by the Dornier patrol aircraft of the Seychelles Air Force (SAF) and intercepted again by La Fleche.
Upon inspections carried out by the Coast Guard boarding team on both vessels indicated that they may have been involved in illegal fishing activities within Seychelles' waters.
The communique added that after further “consultation with the Seychelles Fishing Authority, the two boats were escorted to Port Victoria by patrol boat La Fleche and Topaz for further investigation.”
The two boats arrived in Port Victoria in the early hours of Friday and have subsequently been handed over to Seychelles Fishing Authority and the police.
This brings the cases of suspected illegal fishing in the Seychelles waters to seven since the start of 2019. Four out of the seven cases resulted in successful prosecution in the Supreme Court of Seychelles.
Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, has a vast Exclusive Economic Zone of 1.4 million square kilometres which presents a challenge when it comes to the monitoring of illegal activities in its waters.