Hundreds of fishermen launch their boats to defend ‘Sea of Sri Lanka’

Hundreds of fishermen launch their boats to defend ‘Sea of Sri Lanka’

Written by Zulfick Farzan

17 Oct, 2021 | 10:06 am

COLOMBO (News 1st); Hundreds of Sri Lankan fishermen from the North and East set out to sea ‘en mass’ this morning, against Indian fishermen poaching in The Sea of Sri Lanka.

Fishermen were seen hoisting black flags on their vessels as they sailed from Mullaithivu to Point Pedro in protest against Indian Fishermen, especially ‘bottom trawling’, a technique that’s illegal and leaves ocean life completely devastated.

TNA Parliamentarian, MA Sumanthiran says this is an attempt to protect the lives of the Sri Lankan fisher community.

A Bill to end bottom trawling

In April 2015, Sumanthiran presented a bill in Parliament seeking to prohibit mechanised bottom trawling in Sri Lanka’s territorial waters, widely practiced by South Indian vessels poaching off the island coasts.

The Private Member’s Bill calls for the amendment of the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act, No 2 of 1996.

The Bill proposed to prohibit trawling operations in Sri Lankan waters and seeks to amend legislation which allows for licenses to be granted for trawling operations and prohibit the use, possession, import, transport, purchase and sale of trawl nets for the purpose of carrying trawling operations in the island’s territorial seas.

The TNA Lawmaker’s bill also specifies action to be taken against persons engaging in trawling operations in contravention of these provisions.

It was reported that when the Bill was being moved, Indian fishermen did not enter Sri Lankan water in fear of being arrested and jailed in the Island nation.

However, at present Indian Bottom Trawlers are breaching the maritime boundary and fishing illegally in The Sea of Sri Lanka.

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