Navy apprehends 36 Indian fishermen along with 05 trawlers for poaching in Sri Lankan waters

Special operations carried out by the Sri Lanka Navy and Coast Guard in several sea areas of the island today (15th December 2020) led to the apprehension of 36 Indian nationals along with 05 fishing trawlers and fishing accessories, for poaching in Sri Lankan waters.

Although operations to prevent poaching by foreign fishermen in Sri Lankan waters have been restricted since March this year due to COVID-19 concerns, the Navy resumed its raids on poaching, considering the impact of this wanton act on the livelihood of local fishing community and to protect the fishing resource of the country, as a result of the surge in the arrival of foreign fishing trawlers in Sri Lankan waters.

Accordingly, Northern Naval Command, during a special operation in the sea area off the Delft Island had intercepted 03 Indian fishing trawlers and held 22 Indian nationals and those vessels for poaching in island’s waters.

Elsewhere in the sea area north of Mannar and west of Kudiramalei Point, 14 more Indian nationals and 02 fishing trawlers were held by the North Central Naval Command and Northwestern Naval Command respectively, for poaching in Sri Lankan waters.

All these search operations were conducted adhering to the COVID-19 preventive guidelines and further investigations are currently underway with regard to the 36 accused and 05 fishing trawlers held by the Navy. Meanwhile, arrangements are being made to direct the apprehended Indian nationals for 14 days of quarantine.

Sri Lanka Navy will continue to undertake similar operations in view of preventing illegal fishing practices and other nefarious activities to protect country’s marine resources.