Written by Zulfick Farzan
25 Mar, 2021 | 3:56 pm
Colombo (News 1st); Sri Lanka Navy on 24th March 2021 seized 05 Indian fishing vessels along with 54 Indian nationals while poaching close to Sri Lanka.
Having considered the impact of foreign fishermen poaching in Sri Lankan waters on the local fishing community and the sustainability of fishery resources of Sri Lanka, the Navy is conducting regular patrols to curb illegal fishing activities in Sri Lankan waters.
During similar patrols, naval units attached to Northern Naval Command nabbed a large Indian fishing vessel with 14 personnel on-board, about 03 nautical miles off the coast of Kovilan, Jaffna.
The seized vessel had a steel hull which was 75ft long and 22ft wide and possessed an engine of approx. 280 hp, capable of harvesting a huge fish stock with its motorized trawls.
Meanwhile, 1030kg of illegally caught fish and fishing gear used for the illegal activities were also held by the Navy.
Further, the North Central Naval Command took hold of 02 more Indian fishing vessels with 20 personnel for engaging in trawling in Sri Lankan territorial waters about 7 nautical miles off Pesalai, Mannar, and 5 nautical miles off the Iranativu Island.
Along with the accused their fishing gear was also taken into naval custody.
In the same vein, the Eastern Naval Command seized 02 Indian fishing vessels with 20 personnel and their fishing accessories whilst trawling in the island’s waters about 7.5 and 8.5 nautical miles off Mullaitivu.
The 02 vessels had trespassed into Sri Lankan waters about 62 nautical miles, crossing the International Boundary Line (IMBL) when the apprehension was made.
All these patrols were carried out adhering to safety and health guidelines in place for the prevention of COVID-19 spread and 05 Indian fishing vessels along with 54 personnel will be handed over to relevant authorities for onward legal action.
The Indian High Commission in Colombo said it was informed about the apprehension of 54 fishermen and five boats from India by the Sri Lanka Navy.
“We reiterate that issues associated with Indian fishermen are to be dealt with in a humanitarian manner.,” said the Indian HC adding that providing immediate consular access and emergency supplies to apprehended fishermen are of prime importance.
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