Forty-nine Indian fishermen who engaged in illegal fishing activities in Sri Lankan waters were arrested by the Sri Lanka Navy and the Coast Guard on Monday (7) night in the seas off Delft Island and Kovilan Point.
Navy Spokesman Chandima Walakuluge said they had impounded 12 fishing trawlers belonging to the arrested Indian fishermen.
He said fast attack craft attached to the Northern Naval Command and Sir Lanka Coast Guard on routine patrol had arrested the Indian fishermen. “Two of the fishing trawlers were impounded in the waters Northwest of Delft Island while the rest were taken into custody in the seas off Kovilan Point,” he said.
These fishermen had ventured into Sri Lankan waters and were engaged in illegal bottom trawling which is considered a destructive fishing method, Lieutenant Commander Walakuluge said.
He said the seized trawlers and the fishing gear were brought to the naval base SLNS Elara in Karainagar while the Indian fishermen were brought to the SLNS Uththara in Kankesanthurei. They were to be handed over to the Assistant Fisheries Director in Jaffna for legal action.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Navy had facilitated the repatriation of 77 Indian fishermen, who were released from Sri Lankan custody as a gesture of goodwill last week, after detaining them for poaching in the island’s territorial waters. (Darshana Sanjeewa)