SL Navy arrests 21 Indian fishermen

Rameswaram (Tamil Nadu), Mar 17 (UNI) The Sri Lankan Navy arrested 21 Indian fishermen and seized two mechanised fishing trawlers allegedly for straying into the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Island Nation and indulging in unlawful fishing activities in the wee hours of Sunday.

Tamil Nadu fisheries department officials said here that the arrested fishermen hail from Rameswaram in Ramanathapuram district.

Over 2,000 fishermen had ventured into the sea for a regular fishing trip from Rameswaram fishing jetty on Saturday morning. Of them, 21 fishermen were detained by the Sri Lankan navy while they were fishing close to the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL), they said.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan Navy claimed on its official website that it had conducted a special operation to chase away Indian poaching trawlers from Sri Lankan waters, that led to the apprehension of 21 Indian fishermen poaching in Sri Lankan waters off Delft Island and the seizure of two Indian poaching trawlers.

The apprehended fishermen, along with the two trawlers, were taken to Kankesanthurai Harbour, and they will be handed over to the fisheries officials at Mailadi for onward legal action.

On Friday, the Lankan navy apprehended 15 fishermen hailing from Nagapattinam district in Tamil Nadu and seized their mechanised fishing trawler on similar charges.

With today’s apprehension, the Sri Lankan Navy has arrested 146 Indian fishermen and seized a total of 18 Indian poaching trawlers so far this year.

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