COLOMBO, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) — The Sri Lankan navy on Thursday arrested 5 Indian fishermen for poaching illegally in local waters, the navy media unit said here.
A Naval Patrol Craft belonging to the Northern Naval Command, arrested the Indian fishermen along with their fishing trawler in the seas off Delft, in the island’s north.
“Having brought the arrested fishermen and items to the Naval Base SLNS Elara, they will be handed over to the Jaffna Fisheries Director for onward legal action,” the navy said.
The Sri Lankan government has maintained that bottom trawling carried 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 with 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 issues.
Sri Lanka recently announced that poaching by Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan waters has seen a 50 percent drop following steps taken by the Navy and Coast Guard to arrest Indian fishermen poaching in Sri Lankan waters.