Four foreigners held for ‘illegal’ fishing in Bayelsa

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Operatives of the Central Naval Command (CNC) of the Nigerian Navy have rounded up two trawlers for illegal fishing activities along the country’s coastline.

The navy, which also arrested 26 crew members including four foreigners, said the trawlers belonged to ORC Fishing and Food Processing Limited.

The two vessels christened ORC 5 and CYNTHIA with 13 crew members each were said to be fishing within the restricted distance of 5 nautical miles off the Nigerian coastline.

The Commanding Officer, Forward Operating Base, Formoso, Capt. Suleiman Ibrahim, handed over the vessels the suspects to the Federal Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture at Brass Island.

Ibrahim said the naval operatives detected the illegal activities of the two fishing vessels with the use of maritime domain awareness equipment.

He said after viewing the vessels’ activities using the equipment, the base deployed operatives to stop and intercept them.

“Ordinarily, the area I supposed to be used by local fishermen and not bigger vessels with monitoring to avoid conflicts. The act was done intentionally because they know the regulations and its implications if violated.

“Further investigations will be done by the relevant authorities and if they are found culpable they will face the law accordingly.