In yet another standoff this week, Seven Indian fishermen belonging to Tamil Nadu’s Pudukkottai district were arrested by Sri Lankan Navy along with two boats while fishing near Neduntheevu at Palk Strait.

Apparently, the routine patrolling party of FAC detected movement and found the Indian fishermen found illegally fishing in Sri Lankan territorial waters.

The arrested fishermen are slated to be handed over to the Jaffna Assistant Director of Fisheries for further legal action.

The incident, third within two weeks, after the Lankan Navy on Saturday night detained three Indian fishermen on charges of illegally fishing at Pal Strait between the Tamil Nadu state and the Northern Province of  Sri Lanka that connects the Bay of Bengal in the northeast with the Palk Bay in the southwest.

Earlier, after the growing concern over the Indian fishermen being detained, Tamil Nadu government on Friday flagged concerns after Sri Lanka amending its Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act put a ban on bottom trawling in the Palk Bay.

As per the new rule, a fine of 50,000 Lankan rupees (LKR ) will be imposed along with imprisonment of up to two years on those found guilty of bottom trawling — a dangerous method where the fishermen drag large nets with heavy weights across the seafloor to catch fishes in bulk.

Apparently, the destructively dragging method scoops everything in its path, damaging the sea life form including the corals.

Also, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking the Centre to take necessary steps against the move Sri Lankan move.

He also highlighted the concern over several arrests including 50 fishermen and at least 143 boats in Sri Lankan custody.

First Published | 13 July 2017 9:24 AM
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