Five Indian fishermen arrested by SL Navy

Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 09:49 GMT, Oct 12, 2017 |

Sri Lankan Navy on Thursday (October 12) arrested five Indian fishermen and seized their boat for allegedly fishing in its territorial waters, local media reports said.

Reportedly, the fishermen were arrested off Sri Lanka’s Mannar Basin and handed over to the Fisheries Department in Jaffna.

The fishermen, hailing from India’s southern Rameswaram city, had ventured into the sea on Wednesday (October 11) night when they were arrested.

Secretary of Rameswaram Fishing Association, Kalaikudam Sagayam, demanded intervention of the federal government to secure the release of the arrested fishermen.

India shares an expansive oceanic border with Sri Lanka without any perceptible demarcation and fishermen on both sides ignore rules while netting their catch.

Sri Lanka has long fumed over poaching and illegal fishing by Indian fishermen that it says depletes the catches of its own fishermen.

Fishermen from both countries frequently stray into each other’s territory and end up spending years in jails.

The U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea states that fishermen who cross territorial waters can be warned and fined but not arrested.

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