Colombo, May 1 (NIA) – The Sri Lanka Navy, on Monday arrested five Indian fishermen for poaching illegally in the seas of Mannar, in the island’s north, the navy media unit said here.
A fishing dhow was also taken into naval custody.
The navy said that the arrested fishermen and fishing dhow were handed over to the Mannar Assistant Directorate of Fisheries for onward legal action.
Sri Lanka and India have had several rounds of talks in an attempt to resolve the fishing issue in recent years but have failed to reach a final solution.
Indian fishermen often stray into Sri Lankan waters to catch fish as Sri Lanka has rich fishing resources.
However, hundreds of fishermen have been arrested by the Sri Lankan navy over the years for illegally poaching in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka’s Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera recently said that Indian fishermen will continue to be arrested if they poach in Sri Lankan waters.
Amaraweera said the government was also looking at resolving the Indo-Lanka fishing dispute in a diplomatic manner.
Fishermen in India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu recently issued an ultimatum to Sri Lanka and India, demanding that concrete steps be taken to address the Indo-Lanka fishing dispute, failing which the situation may spiral out of control.