The Ecuadorian navy last week intercepted four Peruvian boats with 10 citizens of that nation aboard that were fishing in its territorial waters, the National Directorate of Aquatic Areas, or Dirnea, announced Monday.

The vessels were detected in the waters bordering on Peruvian territorial waters off the coast of the Ecuadorian province of El Oro.

On Jan. 31, an Ecuadorian coast guard vessel apprehended two of the Peruvian boats with four crewmembers on board as they were throwing part of their fish catch overboard, Dirnea said in a communique.

The next day, the navy came across two other Peruvian fishing boats, along with one flying an Ecuadorian flag, each of them with three Peruvian crewmembers on board.

"The boats and the crews were apprehended for being found fishing within (Peruvian) territorial waters and for not having the proper registration ... to carry out (that activity)," Dirnea said.

Ecuadorian authorities turned the Peruvians over to their country's consulate in Machala, the capital of El Oro, while the boats remained in the custody of the Regional Fishing Directorate.

Dirnea said in its communique that recently there has been an increase in fishing activity by Peruvian boats in Ecuadorian waters.

In mid-December, Ecuador detained five Peruvian fishing boats - and 18 crewmembers - in the holds of which were found a substantial number of fish. EFE