Fight against illegal fishing and piracy

On board the Atsantsa, police seas

This patrol will roam the waters of Mauritius, Comoros, Reunion and Seychelles to ensure that nothing illegal is going on until December 20.¬†Time for a call, we are a tour …

The sea is calm. For the sailor. But for regulars terra firma, it resembles a dark blue water mass in fury. However, by far, in Bois-des-Amourettes before taking the Zodiac away Atsantsa, he did not look so scary that ocean mingling with the horizon, pale blue this summer morning.

But while the dinghy began a frenzied dance (tango, even) with the waves, about fifteen minutes by speed boat from the coast, it is difficult to catch a ladder and climb aboard this patrol that travels the seas of the Indian Ocean to track illegal fishermen in the programs of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), the regional fisheries surveillance in the southwest Indian Ocean and Smartfish Program.

But if mount the Atsantsa is dangerous, it is not impossible, of course.¬†In fact, the hardest in the end does not go up.¬†But to stay there.¬†Ah!¬†Seasickness, when you hold us!¬†However, staff on board, they are comfortable …¬†like fish in water.¬†As the ship pitches and over again, it does absolutely not bother!¬†In this Thursday, Dec. 12, it’s been a few days that the crew – consisting mainly of Madagascar – is on a mission.¬†Objective: To ensure that the territorial waters of Mauritius, Comoros, Reunion, Seychelles are secure.

Not illegal, no pollution, no piracy … They will sail the seas until 20 December and track “bad guys” (they are armed for difficult missions, especially against the Somali pirates.)¬†Then another team take over.¬†”Or she will prepare to take to the sea,” says Xavier Nicolas, the technical coordinator for the regional fisheries surveillance in the southwest Indian Ocean, funded by the European Union.¬†Since the launch of the maritime security cooperation between the islands, there is always a boat on the ocean (IOC can count on military ships and four patrol whose Atsantsa which was built in 2007 in Mauritius).

You have to climb two sets of steep steps to access the cab command.¬†This, with a panoramic view of the south-east of the island, that decisions are made and that the maneuvers are switched “radars allow to chase offenders and establish a road hunting.Always provide the path of the boat that you want to understand the power to reach a given point.¬†The work is done on a scale of four to five hours. ”

Yes!¬†On the water, it takes time before approaching a ship would be committing an offense.¬†It is, therefore, necessary to have the flair to anticipate: “This is why, on these boats, there are sailors but also civilians who have experience and can give advice.” Once the boat, which would be at fault, is in sight, there are inspectors excavations and establish a record, if necessary.¬†Or, if the offense is more important, they appeal to the country where they sail maritime services.¬†And everything is done in coordination with the IOC.¬†Cooperation between the islands has proven as responsible for this program.¬†Necessary cooperation because fishing is an important resource for members of the IOC.

Between missions, life is well rehearsed on Atsantsa. As the boat moves towards des Deux Cocos Island. It is in the square Рthe patroller restaurant Рa part of the crew stationed in the late morning takes his meals. As dessert of lychees from Madagascar! Others sit in small booths, while some are on the bridge, where the sun is very strong, or work in the engine room where a strong smell of fuel is almost intolerable. To achieve the different levels, we need to hang. The stairs are like ladders and even if you do not see the rolling waves, it feels great!

More than an hour on patrol, who took over his route immediately after our departure, and the happiness of finding the calm sea of ​​the lagoon and the mainland, are indescribable. Sailor is not given to everyone!

The Secretary General of the IOC board
He said he was very attentive to this project.¬†Jean Claude de l’Estrac, General Secretary of IOC, embarked in the late morning to explore the patroller.¬†He said in his speech that many countries in the region depended on fishing and he agreed, so the pooling of resources in the interest of all.¬†He felt it was an important mission even if it sometimes goes unnoticed because it occurs at sea

Soodesh Caussy Occupation: Inspector of Fisheries
Mauritian board, this is it.¬†And he belongs to the group of fisheries inspectors – who come from Seychelles and Comoros – who go on boats to carry out inspections.¬†”I am attached to the Ministry of Fisheries and am called to be a detective but also an observer,” said the man who lives Grind Saint Andr√© and officiating when he is down, the research center of Albion in the field of marine conservation.

His job, he speaks with passion.¬†Departures at sea, too.¬†It feels good on a boat.¬†And mission, despite the dangers: “At sea, things are more difficult.¬†But in my opinion, we must act with respect and efficiency in order to avoid crisis situations. “When he first took part in a mission of the IOC, it was in 2009.¬†Since then, he has not stopped: “You have a mind of steel and especially avoid getting sick.”

He will return to Mauritius on December 22 and will have just enough time to grab the final preparations for Christmas and the New Year festivities, “Mo madam pe atann me.”

The “Regional Vessel Monitoring” soon
A platform for the sharing of geographic information for the maritime countries of the region?¬†It will soon be a reality.¬†”All these countries have data, just to share and communicate for better action on the ground,” says Xavier Nicolas.

You said “Smart fish Programme”?
It is an initiative of the IOC in collaboration with COMESA and the East African Community. Program: to promote fishing, regulate, train fishermen and ensure that affected populations are turning to fish consumption. To do this, several lines of action are implemented including the development of strategies to reduce costs and increase productivity, while providing jobs and preserving the environment, harmonization of regional standards and implementation share knowledge and resources, among others.

By Yvonne Stephen-Lavictoire

Via: (This article was translated via Google from the original French)

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