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Sunday, 3 October 2010

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In Indian waters:

Awareness campaign on poaching bears fruit

The awareness campaign carried out by the Fisheries Ministry to educate Sri Lankan fishermen over the issue of poaching in Indian waters has resulted in the number of Sri Lankan fishermen detained by the Indian authorities being reduced drastically within the past few months.

A spokesman for the Fisheries Ministry said not a single fisherman have been detained by the Indian authorities since July as the Sri Lankan fishermen have been educated on this issue during the past few months.

He said the Ministry had taken the initiative to launch an awareness campaign to educate the fishing community proceeding beyond Sri Lankan territorial waters on the danger of entering Indian territorial waters.

He said in the first seven months of the year 322 fishermen and 60 fishing trawlers that had entered Indian territorial waters were detained by the Indian authorities for poaching in their territorial waters. Fisheries Ministry spokesman who had mediated to secure the release of 270 fishermen and 46 fishing trawlers detained under Indian authorities said.

"Only 52 fishermen and 14 trawlers are to be released by the Indian authorities", he said.

The Fisheries Ministry has spent over Rs.2.5 million to provide air tickets and other transport facilities to get those fishermen back to Sri Lanka.

The issue of educating the Sri Lankan and Indian fishermen about the territorial waters of each country was also emphasised at the biannual International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) meeting held between the Indian and Sri Lankan Navies on September 29 in the North of Sri Lanka.

Navy Spokesman Captain Athula Senerath said that the two Navies agreed to conduct more awareness campaigns to educate the fishermen on the issue of poaching in territorial waters of each country.

The representatives of the Fishermen's Organisations of Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu also had friendly discussions in India and Sri Lanka over this issue and the organisations have also agreed to work with mutual understanding.

 

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