Fisheries Minister asserts Indian trawlers not released

Fisheries Minister Mahinda AmaraweeraFisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera today asserted that Indian trawlers seized by the Navy have not been released.

Amaraweera told Parliament Sri Lanka is working with India to resolve the fishing dispute.

“We have not released any boats seized from Indian fishermen,” he said.

He said that as a result of measures taken by the Navy to arrest Indian fishermen poaching in Sri Lankan waters, the number of Indians boats crossing into Sri Lankan waters illegally has reduced.

The Minister said the Indian Government has agreed with Sri Lanka’s position that bottom trawling by Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan waters cannot be accepted.

He said that more talks on the fishermen issue will take place between India and Sri Lanka next month.

India and Sri Lanka last month 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 first Ministerial Meeting would be held in Colombo next month. (Colombo Gazette)

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