Naval vessels attached to the Northern Naval Command on routine patrol arrested 25 Indian fishermen and 06 Indian fishing trawlers engaged in bottom trawling in the seas off Delft on 20th January 2014. The arrested fishermen and trawlers were handed over to the officials of the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Jaffna for legal action.
The Navy was compelled to make the arrest since the Indian fishermen were poaching well within the Sri Lanka’s territorial waters despite the recent talks held between the two neighboring countries to refrain from illegal methods of fishing and restrict fishing to own waters without any incursions across the IMBL. Indian fishing vessels poaching in Sri Lankan waters have deprived the Sri Lankan fishermen of their legal fish catch and threatened their livelihood. Wanton bottom trawling resorted to by Indian poachers has caused enormous damage to the marine ecology in the Palk Bay destroying fish breeding grounds.