NEW DELHI: The Indian and French navies will begin joint patrolling in Southern Indian Ocean to deal with illegal fishing and protect strategic interests of the two countries in the region, a French naval commander said on Monday.

Vice admiral Didier Maleterre, who is Joint Commander of the French forces deployed in the Indian Ocean region, also said that the two navies will ink an agreement early next year which will provide for sharing of classified information.

On the proposed joint patrol, he said Indian Navy is expected to deploy its P8I maritime surveillance aircraft for it.