The High Commission has issued a statement with regard to the arrest of 54 Indian fishermen last night (24) by the Sri Lankan Navy while fishing in Sri Lankan waters.
"Providing immediate consular access and emergency supplies to apprehended fishermen are of prime importance. We are working with Government of Sri Lanka for expeditiously securing consular access for these fishermen," the statement adds.
"Bilateral mechanisms are in place to comprehensively address all matters related to fisheries. It may be recalled that the Fourth meeting of the Secretary-level JWG was held on 30 December 2020 through virtual mode. Follow-up measures on the basis of discussions which took place during the meeting need to be taken forward quickly," it further notes.
5 boats seizedSri Lanka Navy says that they had apprehended 05 Indian fishing vessels along with 54 Indian nationals while poaching close to Sri Lanka yesterday night, during Navy patrols in three separate areas.
The Navy Media unit states :
"During similar patrols, naval units attached to Northern Naval Command nabbed a large Indian fishing vessel with 14 personnel onboard, about 03 nautical miles off the coast of Kovilan, Jaffna. The seized vessel had a steel hull which was 75ft long and 22ft wide and possessed an engine of approx. 280 hp, capable of harvesting a huge fish stock with its motorized trawls. Meanwhile, 1030kg of illegally caught fish and fishing gear used for the illegal act were also held by the Navy."
"Further, the North Central Naval Command took hold of 02 more Indian fishing vessels with 20 personnel for engaging in trawling in Sri Lankan territorial waters about 7 nautical miles off Pesalai, Mannar and 5 nautical miles off the Iranativu Island. Along with the accused their fishing gear were also taken into naval custody."
"In the same vein, the Eastern Naval Command seized 02 Indian fishing vessels with 20 personnel and their fishing accessories whilst trawling in island’s waters about 7.5 and 8.5 nautical miles off Mullaitivu. The 02 vessels had trespassed into Sri Lankan waters about 62 nautical miles, crossing the International Boundary Line (IMBL) when the apprehension was made."