Eight Malagasy nationals arrested on Sunday on suspicion of illegal fishing in the Seychelles' waters are being remanded until May 7th, the police said on Thursday.
Officers of the Seychelles Coast Guard and the Anti-Narcotics Bureau intercepted the fishing boat "SHANGRILA" and arrested the captain and seven crew members, the police said. The arrest was made on Sunday in Cosmoledo Bay -- a remote island situated 1,030 kilometres from Mahe, the main island of Seychelles.
The fishermen were flown to the main island later the same day.
The police said that the information was received from concerned citizens who saw the fishing boat in the area and informed other authorities like the Islands Development Company and Seychelles Maritime Safety Administration. The information was passed on to the Seychelles Fisheries Authority and subsequently the Coastguard who made the arrest.
The suspects were brought to court on Tuesday, April 23 and are now being remanded in police custody until May 7 when they will again be brought to court.
This is the second arrest in Seychelles for suspicion of illegal fishing in a little less than a month.
Three citizens of Comoros were arrested on March 26 after their vessel was intercepted in the vicinity of Assumption on suspicion of illegal fishing this week.
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 fishing.
In his last live news conference for 2018, President Danny Faure as the Commander-in-Chief said that Coast Guard assets will be moved to Assumption. No military base will be created on the island which will only have the presence of the Seychelles Coast Guard.