Nearly 50 Indian fishermen were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy for
allegedly poaching in the country's territorial waters on August eighth.
The Indian fishermen were on board 12 trawlers. They have been accused of
indulging in bottom trawling which is outlawed in Sri Lanka, Naval spokesman
Commander Chaminda Walakuluge said.
This is the first time the Lankan navy has invoked bottom trawling as an
offense under which the fishermen will be tried in Sri Lankan Courts. In the
past the fishermen of Rameshwaram and other coastal areas of Tamil Nadu were
arrested on charges of trespassing into Sri Lankan territorial waters.
They were escorted to the fisheries harbour in Karainagar in Jaffna. The
fishermen would be handed over to the fisheries inspection office in Jaffna for
further action, the Navy added.
Fishermen from both countries are arrested frequently by the maritime
security agencies of both countries for illegal fishing and often stray into
illegal waters due to absence of any proper technology to confirm the coastline
border between Pakistan and India near Sir Creek in the Arabian Sea.