Government rejects Indian proposal on fishing

Fisheries Minister Mahinda AmaraweeraThe Government says it had refused to agree to a proposal from India to allow Indian fishermen to catch fish in Sri Lankan waters.

Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that India had requested Sri Lanka to allow Indians to catch fish for 65 days a year in Sri Lankan waters in an attempt to resolve the Indo-Lanka fishing issue.

However Amaraweera said that he refused to agree to the proposal which had come through the Indian High Commission in Colombo.

“Not 65 days, we will not agree for even 65 hours,” the Minister said.

He said that Indian fishermen use bottom trawling and that method is harmful to Sri Lanka’s fishing resources.

The Minister said that the navy has been instructed to continue arresting Indian fishermen who poach in Sri Lankan waters.

He also said that local fishermen are still using dynamite to catch fish at some locations.

Amaraweera said that the Ministry of Defence has been instructed to file legal action against fishermen using explosives as it is against the law. (Colombo Gazette)