Sri Lanka arrests 5 Indian fishermen

Colombo, Feb 2: The Sri Lankan vy on Thursday arrested five Indian fishermen for poaching in local waters, the vy media unit said. A val Patrol Craft belonging to the Northern val Command arrested the Indian fishermen along with their fishing trawler in the seas off Delft, in the island’s north, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Having brought the arrested fishermen and items to the val Base SLNS Elara, they will be handed over to the Jaff Fisheries Director for onward legal action,” the vy said.

The Sri Lankan government has maintained that bottom trawling carried out illegally by Indian fishing boats in Sri Lankan waters has destroyed the aquatic resources of the country and created a dead sea bed.

Last month Sri Lanka urged India to end bottom trawling in order to resolve a long standing fishing dispute when India’s Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Radha Mohan Singh met Sri Lanka’s Minister for Fisheries, Mahinda Amaraweera in Colombo.

Both sides exchanged views on possible mechanisms to help find a permanent solution to the fishermen issue. Sri Lanka recently announced that poaching by Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan waters has seen a 50 per cent drop following steps taken by the vy and Coast Guard to arrest Indian fishermen poaching in Sri Lankan waters. (IANS)