Sri Lankan captain charged for illegally fishing in Seychellois waters
The captain of a Sri Lankan-flagged fishing vessel intercepted in the waters of Seychelles has been charged for illegal fishing while the remaining crew awaits deportation.
The captain was charged by the Supreme Court last Wednesday after his vessel, Godbless Sampath 7, was intercepted earlier this month by the patrol ship Topaz of the Seychelles Coast Guard.
There were six Sri Lankans on board the vessel spotted 99 nautical miles southeast of Mahe, the main island, by a local fishing vessel.
The captain is expected back in court on June 28.
The Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) told SNA on Monday that the vessel was escorted to the port of Victoria on Mahe, the main island, while an investigation was launched.
This is the third vessel caught on suspicion of illegal fishing in the Seychelles’ waters since May this year.
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 monitoring illegal activities in the island nation’s waters.
Recently, the National Assembly approved the ratification of a bilateral agreement with the United States to help increase surveillance capabilities in the Seychelles’ waters.
Under the agreement, Seychelles will provide its resources through its Ministry for Internal Affairs and the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces resources, while the U.S will bring assets including vessels and surveillance aircraft, as well as the equipment and personnel towards strengthening policing within the region through the United States Coastguard and the Department of Homeland Security.