Navy arrests 23 Indian fishermen, seize 2 trawlers
October 14, 2021 09:07 am
Sri Lanka Navy has arrested 23 Indian fishermen along with two fishing vessels while poaching in Sri Lankan territorial waters.
The Navy said that the Indian fishing vessels poaching in Sri Lankan waters were intercepted during a special operation conducted in seas east of Point Pedro and Vettilaikeni.
In this special operation, Fast Attack Craft of the 04th Fast Attack Craft Flotilla (4 FAF) and Inshore Patrol Craft attached to the Northern Naval Command took hold of the two Indian fishing vessels along with 23 Indian fishers aboard, for poaching in Sri Lankan waters east of Point Pedro and Vettilaikeni on 13th October.
The operation also led to the seizure of fishing gear from those vessels, used for the illegal fishing practice known as ‘bottom trawling’, and a stock of fish caught by the same fishing method.
Meanwhile, the 02 fishing vessels and 23 Indian fishers held in this operation have been detained in naval custody until they are handed over to relevant authorities for onward legal action.
Taking into account 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 Sri Lanka Navy said it is conducting regular patrols as well as operations to curb illegal fishing activities in island waters.
Last time, the Navy seized 05 fishing vessels and 54 Indian nationals for poaching in Sri Lankan waters on 24th March 2021. However, with the onset of COVID-19 pandemic, the Navy said it limited seizure of foreign fishing vessels and continued to repatriate them to their home waters.