Indian fishing boats go under the hammer | Sunday Observer

Indian fishing boats go under the hammer

13 February, 2022

Sri Lankan multi-day fishing trawler operators yesterday expressed fears that their boats would be taken by the Indian authorities, for auctioning the Indian boats by the authorities last week.

Around 135 Indian boats that had encroached into Sri Lanka’s territorial waters in recent months went under the hammer at the Karainagar Harbour in Jaffna on Monday.

The Indian boats had been seized by the Navy along with the occupants for alleged poaching in the country’s territorial waters.

A 48-foot trawler fetched the highest price at the auction for Rs.1.3 million.

The auction took place even as top regional politicians in the South Indian State of Tamil Nadu called on the Central Government in New Delhi to urge Colombo to call off the auction.

The Secretary of the All-Island Multi-Day Boat Owners’ Association (AIMDBOA) Ruwan Fernando told the Sunday Observer that the auction could have adverse effects on Sri Lankan fishermen in the Arabian Sea since they are likely to be taken by the Indian maritime authorities in an apparent tit-for-tat response.

“This has happened to Sri Lankan fishermen in the past and it could be repeated,” Fernando said.

He called on the Government to reach out to the Indian authorities at the very earliest to bring about a permanent solution to the festering crisis.