As many as 41 fishermen, from Kanniyakumari district and other states, were detained in Seychelles and Indonesia on Monday.
Sources said 33 fishermen from Kanniyakumari, Kerala and other states, in three boats, had ventured into the sea from Kochi harbour on February 22. They were detained in Seychelles. “The fishermen were in three boats- Dono, Infant Jesus and St Snabaga Arulappar. The owners of the boats were from Chinnathurai and Poothurai in Kanniyakumari district,” said International Fishermen Development Trust President P Justin Antony.
Justin said due to bad weather their boats had drifted away from the international borders and they were detained by Seychelles authorities on March 7. The fishermen were kept on the boats and the captains of the boats were taken to the police station for questioning. He urged the Indian authorities and the Indian embassy in Seychelles to take efforts for their release. In this regard, Justin sent a memorandum to Indian authorities, including the Minister for External Affairs and Indian Embassy in Seychelles on Wednesday.
Following his memorandum, Indian Embassy in Seychelles authorities replied, “High Commission of India in Mahe, Seychelles is providing assistance to the fishermen from 07 March 2022. Seychelles authorities are giving food and water to the fishermen in presence of our Consular Staff. We are also assisting the fishermen with communication. Official procedure/investigation by the Seychelles authority has been initiated”.
Meanwhile, South Asian Fishermen Fraternity(SAFF) general secretary Father Churchil said 8 fishermen from Tamil Nadu and Kerala were detained by Indonesian authorities. He said they had gone for deep-sea fishing in a mechanized boat ‘Blessing’ from Port Blair Fisheries Harbour. They were arrested by Indonesian authorities on March 7 for crossing the Indonesian sea border and for fishing in Rusha Island, Andaman. The fishermen were detained for legal proceedings.
SAFF sent a memorandum to the Indian authorities to take steps for their release.