Sri Lankan Navy arrests 10 Tamil Nadu fishermen

Mechanised boats near Delft Island has also been seized for alleged poaching in Sri Lankan waters.

RAMESWARAM: Close on the heels of a controversial alleged attack by the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) on Rameswaram fishermen in the Palk Bay for their alleged ‘twin trawling', the Sri Lankan Navy have apprehended ten fishermen of Nagapattinam district in Tamil Nadu and seized their mechanised boat near Delft Island for alleged poaching in Sri Lankan territorial waters.

The Island-Navy personnel on board a fast attack craft attached to the Northern Naval command on routine patrol apprehended ten Nagapattinam fishermen along with their trawler north of Point Pedro Lighthouse late on Wednesday night.

After interrogation, the arrested fishermen were taken to the naval base ‘SLNS Uttara’ in Kankesanthurai and subsequently handed over to the Assistant Fisheries director of Jaffna for legal action, reports reaching Rameswaram on Thursday said. The seized trawler and the fishing gears were retained at ‘SLNS Elara’ in Karainagar, reports said. The latest arrests have come as a double blow to the coastal fishermen community here.

Fishermen’s representatives urged that to avert such repeated attacks by the Sri Lankan Navy on Tamil Nadu fishermen, India and Sri Lanka should declare ‘Gulf of Mannar’ and ‘Palk Bay’ areas as an ‘exclusive fishing zone’ accessible to both fishermen of both countries.

This would pave way for fishermen of both countries to fish in these waters with a spirit of accommodation and would also enhance security of fishers on both sides.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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