Seychelles and Comoros sign agreement to help combat IUU fishing in EEZ

General |Author: Rita Joubert-Lawen Edited by: Betymie Bonnelame | April 19, 2024, Friday @ 16:18| 3805 views

The Comoros vessel was intercepted in the Aldabra lagoon on November 16 last year. (Seychelles Defence Forces)

Seychelles and Comoros signed an agreement for better relations in fisheries to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing on Friday.

The Minister of Fisheries and the Blue Economy, Jean-Francois Ferrari, signed the agreement on behalf of Seychelles and Ali Youssouf, the director general for Fisheries for Comoros on behalf of Houmed M'Saidie, the Minister for Fisheries in Comoros.

The signing took place during a meeting for Indian Ocean coastal states in preparation for the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) meeting scheduled to take in Bangkok, Thailand in May.

Ferrari told reporters that Seychelles has been working with Comoros for a while to come up with the agreement.

"We want to work with all the countries in the region, and it is important to work with them, as you know there have been instances of illegal fishing involving vessels from Comoros who were fishing illegally in the Aldabra lagoon," said Ferrari.

The Comoros vessel was intercepted in the Aldabra lagoon on November 16 last year. Since there was no catch onboard, the vessel was seized and the crew repatriated to their country.

He said there is a "need to have a framework in place to deal with the issue so that we can prevent such situations from happening again."

"I am happy that we signed this agreement with Comoros this morning, as it formalises our relationship and ensures that everything is done the right way, in the interest of both countries," Ferrari added.

He said that this recent agreement with Comoros mirrors the one the Seychelles has with Madagascar.

"The latest incident of Malagasy fishermen being caught sea cucumber fishing in Providence, once caught and set to Madagascar, they were sent to jail because of the relationship we now have with Madagascar," said the minister.

In April 2023, the Seychelles Defence Forces (SDF) intercepted a Madagascar-flagged fishing vessel suspected of conducting IUU fishing in the island nation's waters.

Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, has an Exclusive Economic Zone of 1.4 million square kilometres, making surveillance of illegal maritime activities challenging.

The island nation has stepped up efforts to combat illicit drug trafficking and illegal fishing in its waters and as part of the measures, the SDF assets are continuously involved in regional operations with partner countries and organisations.

Tags: Seychelles Defence Forces


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