The Magistrate's Court of Seychelles has remanded eight Sri Lankan nationals, who are suspected of illegal fishing in local waters, for an extra ten days as the investigation into their case continues.
Seychelles Fishing Authority's Legal Officer, Yannick Roucou, told Seychelles News Agency that "the suspects will return to the Court on 19 January," after they appeared in the Court on 8 January. Seychelles, a 115-island archipelago, in the western Indian Ocean, has a vast exclusive economic zone of more than 1.3 million square kilometres, and regularly faces illegal fishing problems.The Sri Lankan-flagged vessel that the suspects were on board was intercepted by the Seychelles Coast Guard's patrol ship 'Andromache' after it was spotted northeast of the Denis Island. This happened during a routine surveillance mission by the Seychelles Air Force Maritime Patrol Aircraft on 20 December, 2017.Following consultations with the local fishing authority, the vessel was escorted to Port Victoria, where further investigation was carried out. The vessel which reached the port on 23 December was handed over to the Police. A communiqué from the island nation's Coast Guard stated that this was the second Sri Lankan fishing vessel to be intercepted last year on suspicion of illegal fishing.The first one - LMUL-A-0520 KLT - was intercepted by the coast guard's patrol ship 'Constant' on 15 October, 2017 after local fishermen alerted the relevant authorities. Five people were onboard the vessel. (Seychelles News Agency)