12 Sri Lankan crew members remanded for 14 days on suspicion of fishing illegally in Seychelles’ waters

The Seychelles Supreme Court on Monday remanded for 14 days the crew of two Sri Lankan vessels detained on suspicion of fishing illegally in the Seychelles’ waters.
The two vessels were intercepted on June 23 in a coordinated operation carried out by the Seychelles Coast Guard, Seychelles Air Force, Special Forces Unit, and the National Information Sharing and Coordination Centre according to the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces.
Since May this year, five vessels have been caught on suspicion of illegal fishing in the waters of Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.
The latest interception came one week after another Sri Lankan vessel was detained for illegally fishing in the Seychelles’ waters.
Seychelles has a vast Exclusive Economic Zone of 1.4 million square kilometres which is slightly larger than South Africa and about six times the size of the United Kingdom. This presents a challenge when it comes to monitoring illegal activities in the island nation’s waters.
Last year, the National Assembly approved an amendment to the Defence Act giving new powers to the Seychelles Coast Guard to fight illegal activities in the island nation’s waters.
Recently, Seychelles signed bilateral agreements with the United States aimed at increasing the surveillance in its waters.

Source: Seychelles News Agency