The Xiomeran coast guard has seized three fishing boats from Manabí Rive and detained their crews, claiming that the ships violated Xiomeran waters.
“The three ships in question were illegally fishing in Xiomeran waters, and as such, they were ordered to travel to the nearest Xiomeran port to be detained,” Minister of Trade Cuālincōcatle told the media. The Ministry of Trade is responsible for Xiomeran agriculture, including fisheries. “Foreign vessels that illegally plunder Xiomeran resources will be detained regardless of their origin.” As of now, the three ships and their crews are currently being detained in the Xiomeran port of Cuautenang.
The Manabí Rive government issued a statement claiming that the three ships were actually in Manabí waters and calling on the international community to pressure Xiomera to release the vessels and their crews. “It is a complete overreaction on the Xiomerans’ part to arrest these fishermen and seize their ships, which are their only source of livelihood,” Sapa Tanqui, leader of Manabí Rive, told DTNS. Manabí Rive officials also complained that the detained fishermen have not been allowed access to consular personnel.
The incident occurred in the narrow strait separating Manabí Rive from Xiomera, where the maritime border is ill-defined. The seizure is expected to increase pressure on the Manabí government to seek stronger international ties. Two resolutions have already been presented to the Manabí ruling council urging the government to apply for membership in the Union of Caxcanan States, or otherwise ally itself with other nations opposed to Xiomera.