Sri Lanka arrests seven Indian fishermen

Colombo: The Sri Lanka Navy assisted the Coast Guard to arrest seven Indian fishermen poaching illegally in the northern seas of the island country, the navy said on Tuesday.

The fishermen were arrested in the waters northwest of Delft Island on Monday and were handed over to the Assistant Director of Fisheries, Jaffna, reports Xinhua news agency.

Two Indian fishing trawlers were seized.

Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said there had been a 50-percent drop in poaching by Indian trawlers in Sri Lankan waters due to enhanced patrolling by the navy and Coast Guard.

“At least three Indian fishing boats enter Sri Lankan waters every week… This is a huge threat to the Sri Lankan fishing industry,” he said.

The minister said Sri Lanka and India will have more talks to seek a solution to the long-standing disputes between fishermen.

The Indian foreign minister and fisheries minister were expected to attend the talks in Colombo next month.