Two of the ships were from China and Ghana, ministry spokesman David Dahn said.
He did not indicate the nationality of the third, which was held “near the Ivoirian border but in our waters”, but Sea Shepherd identified it as the FV Hispasen, a Senegalese-flagged Spanish trawler.
It named the Chinese ship as the FV Shanghai 9, and the Ghana-based vessel as the FV Lu Rong Yuan Yu 988.
The joint Operation Sola Stella involving some 20 people began more than three weeks ago in order to “totally eradicate the illegal fishing in our waters”, Dahn said.
Sea Shepherd confirmed the information in a statement.
It said two Israeli maritime advisors and conservationists were “providing training assistance” as part of the operation.
The NGO quoted Defence Minister Brownie Samukai as saying he would “personally make sure” that those arrested “will be punished to the full extent of the law. We will make it very, very clear that the time for illegal fishing is over.”
West Africa has long been plagued by illegal fishing, which represents between a third and a half of total catches, according to estimates.
A report last year by the Overseas Development Institute estimated that the region loses $1.3 billion a year to illegal, unreported and unregistered fishing. DM
Watch Pauli van Wyk’s Cat Play The Piano Here!
No, not really. But now that we have your attention, we wanted to tell you a little bit about what happened at SARS.
Tom Moyane and his cronies bequeathed South Africa with a R48-billion tax shortfall, as of February 2018. It's the only thing that grew under Moyane's tenure... the year before, the hole had been R30.7-billion. And to fund those shortfalls, you know who has to cough up? You - the South African taxpayer.
It was the sterling work of a team of investigative journalists, Scorpio’s Pauli van Wyk and Marianne Thamm along with our great friends at amaBhungane, that caused the SARS capturers to be finally flushed out of the system. Moyane, Makwakwa… the lot of them... gone.
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