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Updated February 8th, 2024 at 18:02 IST

In Second Such Incident in a Month, Sri Lankan Navy Arrests 19 Indian Fishermen

In a statement, the Sri Lankan Navy noted that it has arrested 88 Indian fishermen this year for alllegedly fishing in Sri Lanka's territorial waters.

Digital Desk
Representative image of an Indian fishing boat.
Image for representative purposes only. | Image:PTI
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COLOMBO: In the second such incident within a span of a month, the Sri Lankan Navy arrested 19 Indian fishermen on Wedneday in coordination with the Sri Lankan Coast Guard near the Delft Island in northern Jaffna province. In a statement made on Thursday, the navy said that it had arrested the fishermen for poaching in Sri Lankan waters and had also seized two Indian trawlers in connection with the same. The fishermen so apprehended have now been moved to the Kankesanthurai Harbour and will be handed over to the Mailadi Fisheries Inspector for further action, the statement noted. 

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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With inputs from PTI.

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Published February 8th, 2024 at 18:00 IST

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