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18th Apr 13Managed by Chatham House
Financed by DEFRA
Mauritius, Seychelles, Maldives accused of dealing in illegal fish
Port Louis (Mauritius) - Three countries in the Indian Ocean - Mauritius, Seychelles and Maldives - have been accused of dealing in fish illegally captured by Somali pirates in the territorial waters of that country.
In a report made available to the press on Thursday, the High Seas Task Force in the Somali capital Mogadishu says the fish laundering is generating hundreds of millions of US dollars for the Somali insurgents and that apparently it is not considered as criminal as money laundering.
According to an official of the fishing industry in Mauritius, the problem of illegal fishing has existed for many years in that part of the Indian Ocean.
He said that although measures have been taken, including the setting up of a special police unit at the port to control fishing vessels, it has up to now been impossible to eradicate the problem.
He said some 1,000 fishing vessels berthed in the Port Louis port in 2008 for transshipment, repairs and maintenance and that it is extremely difficult to control the origin of the fish cargo that is being transshipped.
Illegal operators take possession of fish coming from Somali waters on the high seas as the country lacks the technical facilities to control the origin of fish, he said.
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Ocean Areas/Indian Ocean