Navy arrests 16 Indian fishermen for poaching

fishermen_indian_fish_reuteSixteen Indian fishermen were arrested in the seas in the North today after they entered local waters illegally, a navy official said.

Navy Spokesperson Commander Indika Silva said that three fishing boats had also been taken into custody and the fishermen had been handed over to officials from the Fisheries Department in Jaffna for onward action.

This is the first arrest since Sri Lankan officials released all the Indian fishermen from its custody last month when they were produced before two separate courts in the northern part of the country.

Indian fishermen often stray into Sri Lankan waters to catch fish as the island nation has rich fishing resources.

Several talks to resolve the Indo-Lanka fishing issue have resulted in a deadlock in the past with fishermen from both sides often being arrested by navy officials when they stray into each others waters violating the International Maritime Boundary Line. (Colombo Gazette)