MNDF seize 2 boats allegedly engaging in illegal fishing

A fishing boat that was previously seized by MNDF. (Photo / MNDF)

Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) on Saturday seized two boats that were suspected to be engaging in illegal fishing within Maldivian waters.

According to MNDF, the boats were seized from the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Maldives by Coastguard’s ship Huravee during patrol.

Though MNDF stated that the vessels were believed to be engaging in illegal fishing, they did not share any further details regarding this.

The Fisheries Ministry has recently publicized a guideline on how vessels enter the Maldivian EEZ.

As per the guideline, vessels need to apply for seeking permits from the ministry 96 hours prior to crossing Maldivian waters. The application needs to come from either the vessel’s owner or operator.

A specific application form needs to be filled out and submitted along with details of passengers aboard, and details about weapons or any explosives present.

The ministry will be making a decision on approving the application within 48 hours of application. There are three types of decisions that the ministry will be making on this. Those are; approved without inspection, inquire further information, or do not grant approval to enter.