Colombo: In a recent incident off Point Pedro town in Sri Lanka, 25 Indian fishermen from Nagapattinam district in Tamil Nadu and Karaikal district in Puducherry were detained by the Sri Lankan Navy. The arrest took place during a special operation on Saturday night, where the fishermen were accused of engaging in illegal poaching in international waters.
According to the Sri Lankan Navy’s official press release, continuous patrols and operations are conducted to curb illegal fishing practices by foreign trawlers. The navy emphasized the impact of such practices on the livelihood of local fishermen and marine resources.
The detained fishermen were taken to the Kankasanthurai harbour and will be handed over to the Mailadi Fisheries Inspector for further legal proceedings.
This incident follows the release of 27 Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan authorities last month. Notably, the Sri Lankan Navy has apprehended a total of 33 Indian trawlers and 220 fishermen in 2023. The recurring arrests have raised concerns for both the Tamil Nadu government and the BJP-led central government.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin previously wrote to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in October, highlighting the repeated arrests and emphasizing the need to protect the traditional fishing rights of Tamil Nadu fishermen in the Palk Bay region. The issue was also discussed during the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe in July, where a humane approach towards addressing the livelihood concerns of fishermen was emphasized.