Law returns to pirate grounds

Countries clamp down on IUU fishing and illegal acts. 

Law returns to pirate hunting grounds

Stephen Spark

Coastguard operations in Somaliland and the Seychelles this week suggest countries previously plagued by piracy are increasingly able to protect their territorial waters.

Acting on information from local residents, the Somaliland Coastguard on Tuesday arrested 16 large vessels and 32 skiffs on suspicion of illegally fishing in the self-declared state’s waters.

The boats – all but one of which were from Yemen – were escorted to the port of Berbera. After being questioned and fined their crews were later released.

On the same day, a Seychellois fishing vessel alerted the Seychelles Coast Guard (SCG) to two suspicious vessels 90nm southeast of Mahé island.

Two Iran-flagged dhows, Maoli and Marliki, were intercepted by SCG’s patrol ships Topaz and Etoile. Shadowed by Seychelles Air Force aircraft, the dhows were brought into Port Victoria, where the 36 crew members and two captains, all Iranian nationals, were detained by police.

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