Sri Lanka repatriates 21 Indian fishermen detained on allegations of unlawful poaching – JURIST

The Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka posted a press release on X (previously Twitter) on Friday that 21 Indian fishermen, who had been detained by the Sri Lankan Navy attributable to alleged involvement in unlawful poaching in Sri Lankan waters, had been repatriated from Sri Lanka to Chennai, India.

Fishing is a bone of competition between India and Sri Lanka. At their closest factors, India and Sri Lanka are solely round 55 kilometers (34 miles) aside. The Worldwide Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) between the 2 nations was established via a pair of bilateral agreements in 1974 and 1976.  In 1976, the nations agreed to stop fishing in one another’s waters.

Regardless of the agreements, fishermen from both nation continued fishing in one another’s waters. After the tip of the Sri Lankan Civil Battle in 2009, Sri Lankan farmers raised objections about Indian fishermen and trawlers getting into their waters. Whereas Sri Lankan fishermen principally fish in excessive seas utilizing multi-day crafts, Indian fishermen are unable to shift fishing to the offshore areas of the Indian waters attributable to a scarcity of functionality in fishing utilizing multi-day crafts. Moreover, backside trawling was banned in Sri Lanka in 2017.

There have been cases of Indian fishermen being apprehended and even shot by Sri Lankan authorities for allegedly crossing the IMBL and fishing in Sri Lankan water. The Worldwide Collective in Help of Fishworkers stated that 195 Indian fishermen and their 31 trawlers had been arrested in Sri Lanka in 2023 alone. As per information sources, that determine had reached 240 by the tip of the 12 months.

On December 12, the Fisheries Minister of Sri Lanka Douglas Devananda told the Sri Lankan Parliament that the recurrent challenge “necessitates a diplomatic decision between the 2 nations.”

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