Sri Lankan Navy arrests 19 Indian fishermen for illegally fishing in its waters: statement

PTI | Colombo | Updated: 08-02-2024 14:48 IST | Created: 08-02-2024 14:48 IST
Sri Lankan Navy arrests 19 Indian fishermen for illegally fishing in its waters: statement
  • Country:
  • Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has arrested 19 Indian fishermen and two trawlers for illegally fishing in the island nation's waters near Delft Island in northern Jaffna province, the country's Navy said on Thursday, in the second such incident this month.

The Sri Lanka Navy in the operation with the Sri Lanka Coast Guard on Wednesday also seized 2 Indian trawlers alongside the arrest of 19 Indian fishermen poaching in Sri Lankan waters, the Navy said in a statement.

The apprehended fishermen and their two trawlers were escorted to the Kankesanthurai Harbour and will be handed over to the Mailadi Fisheries Inspector for further action, it said.

The Navy continues to conduct regular patrols and operations in Sri Lankan waters to curb illegal fishing practised by foreign fishermen as they have a direct impact on the livelihood of locals, it said.

As an extension of these operations, the Northern Naval Command deployed Fast Attack Craft of the Navy and Coast Guard to chase away a cluster of Indian poaching trawlers which were engaged in illegal fishing in Sri Lankan waters close to the Delft Island.

So far this year, the Navy has arrested 88 Indian fishermen in the island's waters and seized 12 Indian trawlers, the statement said.

The Navy has handed them over to authorities for further legal action.

The fishermen issue is a contentious one in the ties between India and Sri Lanka, with Lankan Navy personnel even firing at Indian fishermen in the Palk Strait and seizing their boats in several alleged incidents of illegally entering Sri Lankan territorial waters.

The Palk Strait, a narrow strip of water separating Tamil Nadu from Sri Lanka, is a rich fishing ground for fishermen from both countries.

There have been periodic instances of Indian fishermen being arrested by Sri Lankan authorities for allegedly crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line and fishing in Sri Lankan waters.

In 2023, the island nation's Navy arrested 240 Indian fishermen along with 35 trawlers for allegedly poaching in Sri Lankan waters.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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