News Brief

Sri Lankan Navy Arrests 18 Indian Fishermen For Alleged Illegal Fishing - What You Need To Know

Kuldeep Negi

Jun 23, 2024, 05:37 PM | Updated 05:37 PM IST

Representative image
Representative image

The Sri Lankan Navy arrested 18 Indian fishermen and seized three fishing vessels for alleged illegal fishing in the island nation's waters, according to a media report on Sunday (23 June).

The fishermen were arrested during a search operation conducted on Saturday (22 June) night in the North Sea near the Delft Islands, according to a report from the news portal The News First.

Sri Lankan Navy spokesperson Captain Gayan Wickramasuriya stated that the arrested fishermen would be taken to the Kankesanturai fishing harbour for further legal proceedings.

This follows a similar incident last week when four Indian fishermen were arrested and their trawler seized by the Sri Lankan Navy for alleged poaching in the island nation's waters.

According to the Sri Lankan officials, ahead of this latest incident, over 180 Indian fishermen have been arrested and their 25 trawlers were seized in 2024 alone for alleged illegal fishing.

The numbers are almost 75 per cent of the around 240-245 held similarly in 2023.

Most of these incidents take place in the Palk Strait, a narrow body of water separating Tamil Nadu from Sri Lanka's northern tip, which is a rich fishing ground for both countries.

The issue of fishermen crossing territorial waters has been a longstanding point of contention between India and Sri Lanka. There have been instances where Sri Lankan Navy personnel have fired at Indian fishermen and seized their boats for alleged illegal entry in Sri Lanka.

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Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.

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