Malé, Maldives – For the first time since implementing the regulation governing foreign vessels fishing in Maldivian waters, authorities seized two foreign fishing vessels yesterday.
Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) revealed that the boats were discovered during a routine patrol cruise of Coast Guard Ship Huravee. However, it is yet to be determined which countries the boats belong to.
As per the regulation governing foreign vessels entering Maldivian waters, any vessels suspected to be carrying out fishing activities in Maldivian waters illegally can be stopped and seized by Maldivian authorities even if the vessels are out of Maldivian territory at the time of the seize.
As such, MNDF officers are required to tail the boat, get on the boat and take it to the nearest harbour. As per the regulation, MNDF must then hand over the boat to Maldives Police and fine the boat.