MNDF seizes foreign vessel illegally fishing in Maldivian waters

An MNDF coastguard vessel is pictured at sea.

A foreign fishing vessel and its crew conducting illegal fishing activity in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Maldives has been detained by the Maldivian coastguard. 

Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) said that the vessel was now being escorted by the coastguard ship Huravee. The foreign boat had been fishing inside the EEZ of the Maldives, 140 nautical miles away from K. Maafushi. 

MNDF said that a local fishing boat named “Asuruma 3” had first identified the foreign vessel and reported it around 11:45 yesterday. 

A special operation was commenced by MNDF which stated that MNDF aircraft then located the boat and redirected the coastguard ship Huravee to the location. Huravee was on its way back from India after undergoing refitting.

The foreign vessel is now being escorted by Huravee and the six crew members of the foreign vessel have also been detained, according to MNDF. The vessel is expected to reach the capital Male’ City by afternoon today. 

MNDF also thanked local fishermen for their cooperation and support and noted the work of the Asuruma 3 boat which first identified the foreign vessel.