Army chief says Indo-Lanka fishing issue affecting Northern fishermen

Army Commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake says the Indo-Lanka fishing issue is having a negative impact on the livelihood of fishermen in the North.

He said this while delivered the prestigious ‘Colonel Henry Steel Olcott’ oration to a packed audience at the Colombo Ananda College at the invitation of the Old Boys’ Association (OBA) and the Principal, the Army media unit said today.

“The Indo-Lanka fishery issue has become an impediment to sustainable development and human security by creating very negative impact on livelihood of our fishermen in the north. This slide amply illustrates status of poaching in Sri Lankan waters by Indian fishermen,” he said.

He said that Illegal Unreported and Unregulated fishing which is known as IUU fishing can also be considered as an issue affecting the Indo-Pacific region as this has caused rapid depletion of fish stock, owing to a combination of overfishing and illegal fishing.

As an example, he said that ninety four percent (94%) of yellow-fin tuna have been overfished, and the hilsa catch also declined by ninety percent (90%) from year 2000 to 2015 around the Bay of Bengal sub-region.

The practice of IUU fishing has negatively impacted on inter-state relations where some of the countries had to deploy their coastal guard and naval assets to prevent such practices, he added. (Colombo Gazette)

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