Sri Lanka and India form Joint Working Group on Fisheries

i-sl-fisheriesIndia and Sri Lanka held Ministerial level talks on fishermen issues today, in New Delhi.

Indian External Affairs Minister Mrs. Sushma Swaraj and Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Radha Mohan Singh met with the Sri Lankan Minister for Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera and Minister for Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Mahinda Amaraweera. Minister of State for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan and Tamil National Alliance Member of Parliament M.A. Sumanthiran were part of the two delegations.

The Ministers exchanged views on possible mechanisms to help find a permanent solution to the fishermen issues.

They agreed on the setting up of a Joint Working Group on Fisheries to meet every three months and a meeting between the Ministers for Fisheries every six months. The delegations would include representatives from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, the Coast Guards and Navies of both countries. The 1st Ministerial Meeting would be held on January 02, 2017 in Colombo.

The Terms of Reference for the Joint Working Group (JWG) would include (i) expediting the transition towards ending the practice of bottom trawling at the earliest, (ii) working out the modalities for theStandard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for handing over of apprehended fishermen, and (iii) ascertaining possibilities for cooperation on patrolling.The issue of the release of detained fishing vessels will be discussed at the first JWG meeting.

Both Governments agreed on the setting up a hotline between the two Coast Guards.

There was support for expediting the provision of communication tracking sets to the fishermen.

Both Governments agreed to the request by the Fishermen Associations that there should be no violence and no loss of life in the handling of fishermen by the Navies and Coast Guards of the two countries.

They agreed to encourage the Fishermen Associations of the two countries to meet every six months to take further their dialogue from the meeting held on November 2, 2016 in New Delhi.

The Ministers noted that the process is underway for the release of fishermen presently in custody on either side. (Colombo Gazette)


  1. Wait and see! Soon Indian fishermen will encircle whole Island. That is why we need China to be our main partner of development. India wants us to be their slaves

  2. All talks wastin time and money of both countries .There will be no real solution put in to place so more travel and more money wasted no actions taken.Any solution to a problem should have starting date and an end date not a open end lot of proposals.We all know India will not want to loose billions they will soft peddle on this issue until another administration come into power.One should also look at Norwegian interests that plays a big role in fishing industry in India..Real answer is Indian fisher folks not come into Sri Lankan territorial waters and Sri Lankans fisher folks not to go onto Indian territory and also limit no of permits issued to big trowlers by the Infian govt.We need to address this issue with fishing Mafia In India.Don,t punish the small man and take his livelihood away.

  3. North India has Animal Husbandry (cows) and Agriculture (grain) as ministries. It is obvious north does not rule the south but own it courtesy anglo/american partition.
    The ministry of fisheries is just a tuck in affair.
    more to do with the inferiority complex of mughal not Hindu.


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