MNDF seizes Sri Lankan boats that entered Maldivian EEZ

The Coast Guard of the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) has seized five fishing vessels from Sri Lanka that had illegally entered the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Maldives.

MNDF stated that four of the five vessels were brought under the custody of the Coast Guard on September 18. MNDF stated that the boats were seized during an operation conducted following a tip-off provided by a local fishing vessel. In addition, another fishing vessel from Sri Lanka was apprehended on September 19.

The government is working with the relevant authorities to intercept foreign fishing vessels in the EEZ of the Maldives. Foreign vessels frequently enter the Maldivian territory to illegally fish and such vessels are often reported to the Coast Guard by local fishermen. Such vessels are released after a fine is paid.