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Sri Lankan IUU Longliners Caught With Dolphins On Board

Two Sri Lankan vessels have been caught illegally fishing for tuna in Mauritian waters, according to the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), an intergovernmental organization that joins Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion and the Seychelles together to promote cooperation.
The IOC says its patrol vessel, Atsantsa, caught the two Sri Lankan vessels on Feb. 23, about 750 km north of Mauritius, an area that is an extremely rich fishing ground and prone to IUU activity. The vessels had also illegally caught dolphins, swordfish and groundfish, and had engaged in shark finning, allege the group.
The IOC says its fisheries monitoring program is efficient because it uses radar satellites and also has experienced regional teams that allow information to be exchanged between the IOC’s member states. The program was set up six years ago through a financial partnership signed between the IOC and the European Union. Since 2007, it has inspected hundreds of vessels at sea and many of them were later detained in Madagascar, the Seychelles and Mauritius, says the group.
The Atsantsa is escorting the two accused Sri Lankan vessels to Port Louis, where the fishermen will be handed over to Mauritian authorities.