Nov 11, Colombo: Sri Lanka Coast Guard (SLCG) Department is to increase its fleet of vessels deployed to monitor the country’s territorial waters against poaching by Indian trawlers and other illegal maritime activities.
Director General of the Sri Lanka Coast Guard Rear Admiral (retd) Daya Dharmapriya has said that his department will receive five vessels from the Sri Lanka Navy to augment the SLCG fleet and expand its monitoring operations, News First reported.
Currently eight SLCG vessels have been deployed to prevent the Indian fishing boats from entering into Sri Lankan waters. With the new acquisition of five more vessels security operations in the northern seas could be tightened further, the SLCG Director General has said.
Indian fishermen, mainly from Tamil Nadu, illegally poaching in large scale with trawlers in Sri Lanka’s waters, has become a serious threat to the livelihoods of Sri Lankan fishermen.
Illegal fishing by Indian fishermen and alleged attacks on them by the Sri Lankan Navy had been the focus of bilateral talks between the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday at the 17th SAARC summit in Maldives.
The two sides have agreed that the Joint Working Group (JWG) on fisheries should meet to find a resolution to the fishermen issue and also to continue the talks between fishermen representatives of the two countries.