A Sri Lankan fishing boat with six fishermen aboard has been detained in Port Victoria in Seychelles on suspicion of illegal fishing, the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces said on Tuesday.
The vessel — SAMPATH, IMU-A-0911KLP — with six fishermen aboard was intercepted by the Seychelles Coast Guard vessel Le Vigilant after being spotted by the Seychelles Air Force Dornier aircraft to the east of Denis island, the Seychelles News Agency reported.
The interception came as a result of coordinated maritime operations which have been stepped up as part of the national plan to combat the spread of COVID-19. The maritime unified inter-agency operation is being coordinated by the Seychelles National Information Sharing and Coordination Centre.
The vessel and its crew members have been escorted to Port Victoria where it is anchored and quarantined as per existing health procedures in place, while the necessary legal procedures are undertaken.
It is the third Sri Lankan-registered fishing boat to be intercepted in Seychelles this year by the Coast Guard.
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.