By Seraj Essul.
Tripoli, 19 August 2013:
It took a salvo of warning shots from a Libyan naval patrol boat, to bring an . . .[restrict]end to the one and a half hour chase of an Egyptian trawler suspected of illegal fishing.
The navy vessel had been on patrol on Sunday, when it sighted the Egyptian fishing boat and went to investigate. The trawler, which had a crew of 18, made off at full speed, ignoring the navy’s instructions to stop.
“The boat was fishing in Libyan territorial waters,” said Col Ayoub Qassem, the spokesman for the Libyan Navy. “We have ordered the boat to stop. It failed to do so. Eventually we fired a warning salvo in front of it and it stopped, to the north-east of Misrata”.
The Giminis came alongside and a boarding party was put on the fishing boat. Both vessels then proceeded to Misrata. It is understood that the trawler captain has been charged with illegal fishing.
Qassem told the Libya Herald that he could not comment on any court proceedings. However he adde: “ Usually with illegal fishing, the boat is confiscated, but because of Libya’s relations with Egypt, the trawler may be let go, with a warning not to do it again”.