VISAKHAPATNAM: The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has apprehended 25 Sri Lankan fishermen, who were illegally fishing in the Indian territorial waters. ICG Ship Shaurya on a routine surveillance deployment in the Bay of Bengal apprehended five Sri Lankan boats on Monday while they were illegally fishing in Indian waters. They were fishing illegally in the Indian waters - about 94 km off Nagapattinam (Tamil Nadu) - and had a catch of around 4,200 kg on-board.
Further, all the five boats were brought to Karaikal harbour for joint investigation by the relevant security agencies. After a preliminary inquiry, Coast Guard officials handed over the Sri Lankan fishermen, along with their boats and fish catch to the Vedaranyam Marine Police (Tamil Nadu) on Tuesday.
It may be noted that ICG is mandated to monitor and prevent illegal fishing by foreign fishing vessels.
“Officials observed the Sri Lankan boats fishing in the Indian waters near Tamil Nadu coast and as per the international sea regulations, they were taken into custody. As both India and Sri Lanka have very close sea water territories, often Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen cross their sea borders and enter into others. After completing the procedures, the apprehended fishermen with their boats may be sent back by the local authorities as per the rules and regulations,” said an ICG official.