Sri Lanka apprehends 16 Indian fishermen for illegal fishing

NEW DELHI, March 24 (Xinhua) -- At least 16 Indian fishermen were apprehended and their two trawlers seized by the Sri Lankan navy for allegedly fishing in their waters, local Indian media reported on Thursday.

The fishermen were arrested Wednesday night during two separate patrols.

File photo: AP

Indian media reports said 12 fishermen were arrested while fishing near Katchatheevu and four from Gulf of Mannar. However Sri Lankan officials said the arrests were made in their waters northwest of the islands of Delft in Jaffna and Iranativu in Mannar.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan navy has also confirmed the arrests.

"Sri Lanka navy seized two Indian trawlers with 16 Indian fishermen while poaching in Sri Lankan waters, during separate patrols carried out on the night of March 23, 2022," said a statement issued by the Sri Lankan navy.

Fishermen of the two countries are often jailed for accidentally crossing into each other's territorial waters as most fishing boats lack technologies to locate exact positions.