Tunisian fishing boat intercepted in Italian waters

Equipment included nets covering 1.7km in length

Italian Coast Guard

On Wednesday, an aerial asset on patrol spotted some Tunisian fishing boats allegedly fishing within Italian territorial waters and subsequently informed the National Fisheries Control Center at the General Command of the Coast Guard.

In a statement, the Italian Coast Guard noted that this formed part of the Joint Operation Themis, coordinated by the Frontex agency (European Border and Coast Guard Agency).

Following the report, the Coast Guard of Lampedusa intercepted a Tunisian fishing boat, still with nets at sea, in illegal fishing activities inland of Italian territorial waters, about 10 miles from the islet of Lampione.

The naval units proceeded to escort the fishing boat to the port of Lampedusa for subsequent investigations which led to the seizure of the fishing equipment, consisting of a 1700 meters long and 200 meters high fishing net.

The Coast Guard added that the activity to combat illegal fishing perpetrated by non-EU fishing boats in Italian territorial waters is of fundamental importance in order to protect national maritime interests and ensure the sustainable exploitation of the fish resources of our seas. The Coast Guard of Lampedusa will continue to carry out careful monitoring of the waters of the jurisdiction in order to discourage behaviour in violation of the current regulations on sea fishing, ensuring the protection of the marine and coastal environment and marine protected areas, as well as to guarantee safe navigation.