9,231 Indian poaching vessels detected in 2021

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The Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) detected 9,231 Indian fisher boats poaching in Sri Lanka’s territorial waters last year (2021) alone. The above data was obtained from SLN’s 2021 Annual Report which was presented to Parliament on Friday (12).

However, of this number, only 19 Indian fishing vessels, equivalent to only 0.21 per cent of the total Indian fisher poaching vessels, together with a total of 157 Indian fishermen found in these 19 boats, were arrested by the SLN last year, statistics further showed. Meanwhile, the SLN conducted a special operation to chase away Indian trawlers poaching in island’s waters recently. The operation led to the seizure of an Indian trawler with nine Indian fishermen, while poaching in Sri Lanka’s waters off Mullaitivu, via the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL).

Accordingly, the Navy had deployed a Fast Attack Craft of the 4th Fast Attack Flotilla (4 FAF), attached to the Eastern Naval Command to chase away Indian trawlers poaching in Sri Lanka’s waters, via the IMBL on 10 August. In this operation, the Navy seized the Indian poaching trawler with nine Indian fishermen and their fishing gear. The Indian trawler and the nine Indian fishermen, held by the Navy were being taken to the Trincomalee Harbour and they are to be handed over to the Fisheries Inspector of Trincomalee for onward legal action.

By Paneetha Ameresekere