India seeks release of all fishing vessels from Sri Lanka

By: | Published: October 14, 2017 4:19 PM

India on Saturday sought the release of all the remaining Indian fishing vessels in Sri Lankan custody, according to a joint communique issued following a meeting between Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Radha Mohan Singh and Sri Lankan Minister for Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Mahinda Amaraweera here.

india, srilanka, fishing vessels from srilanka, Radha Mohan Singh,Poompuhar fishing harbours,  Palk Bay area, Tamil Nadu governmentThe statement also pointed out that fresh registration for bottom trawlers in the Palk Bay area has been banned by the Tamil Nadu government. (PTI)

India on Saturday sought the release of all the remaining Indian fishing vessels in Sri Lankan custody, according to a joint communique issued following a meeting between Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Radha Mohan Singh and Sri Lankan Minister for Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Mahinda Amaraweera here. “The Indian side was satisfied with the progress on release of apprehended fishermen and detained fishing vessels in the recent past, while reiterating the release of all the remaining Indian fishing vessels in Sri Lankan custody,” the statement said.

Stating that the Indian side shared the recent initiatives taken to end bottom trawling in the Palk Bay area with the Sri Lankan side, it stated: “These include launching of a programme on diversification of bottom trawlers into deep sea fishing vessels for tuna long lining under Blue Revolution Scheme, construction of Mookaiyur and Poompuhar fishing harbours, and capacity building programmes for fishermen of Palk Bay area in deep sea tuna long lining.”

The statement also pointed out that fresh registration for bottom trawlers in the Palk Bay area has been banned by the Tamil Nadu government. “In addition, alternative livelihood opportunities for the fishing communities in Palk Bay area are being offered through open sea cage farming, seaweed farming and other allied coastal fisheries activities,” it stated. “While acknowledging the efforts taken by India to end bottom trawling, the Sri Lankan side informed about the measures taken by Sri Lanka in order to prevent illegal fishing,” the joint communique added.

Saturday’s ministerial meeting was preceded by the third meeting of the Joint Working Group of the two countries here on Friday. The co-chairs of the JWG briefed the outcome of the issues discussed for consideration of Singh-Amaraweera. Both Ministers agreed that a permanent solution to the fishermen issues should be found at the earliest, according to the communique.

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