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
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
"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
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