Sri Lankan skipper fined $41,000 for illegal fishing in Seychelles’ EEZ

The Seychelles Supreme Court has convicted a Sri Lankan national to a fine of SCR 550,000 (USD 41,000) after being found guilty of illegally fishing in the island nation’s territorial waters, the police said on Wednesday (21 Feb.).

According to the police, Makavita Liyanage Dilesh, 43, was the person in charge of the vessel, ‘Rankurulla 4’, that was intercepted and arrested in the Seychelles Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) on 24 November 2023.
The presiding judge in the case took into consideration that the accused pled guilty and did not waste the court’s time. The convict is a married man with two children still at school and his family depends on his revenue to survive.

The Sri Lankan national revealed to the Court that the fish they caught was taken and sold for a sum of SCR 35,320 which was collected by the Seychelles Fishing Authority.

The fine is payable within 60 days if not, the convict will do a term of 18 months in prison.

Meanwhile, earlier this month 18 foreign vessels were intercepted and arrested in the Seychelles’ EEZ among which was a vessel from Sri Lanka, carrying eight crew members.

Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, has a vast Exclusive Economic Zone of 1.4 million square kilometres which presents a challenge when it comes to monitoring illegal activities in the island nation’s waters.