The South African Navy has been brought in to help give chase to eight Chinese vessels believed to be fishing illegally in the country’s waters, reports East Coast Radio
The Department of Fisheries says a total of nine vessels were spotted around Durban, Port St Johns and Cape Recife over the past week.
Spokesperson Bomikazi Molapo says the vessels were traced yesterday after South African patrol ship, Victoria Mxenge was dispatched to search for them.
She says the Chinese fishing trawlers were then escorted to the Port of Saldanha Bay for inspection but things changed in the evening.
“Unfortunately, the vessels started dispersing in different directions, making it difficult for our patrol vessel to give chase to all of them. They gave chase to one of the vessels and have managed to capture it.
They’ve boarded that particular vessel and are currently escorting that vessel to the ports of Cape Town where it should arrive tomorrow morning,” she said.
Molapo says they can only confirm what sea species, if any, the vessels were possibly looking for once they have had a thorough look through the seized boat after it arrives at Cape Town Harbour.