Encroaching Indian fisherman are a threat to national security: All Ceylon Fisheries Federation
a year ago
The failure of authorities in preventing Indian fishing trawlers from fishing in Sri Lankan waters has resulted in the destroying of marine life by means of the illegal practice of bottom trawling and increased parts of the sea area in Sri Lanka becoming dead zones. But most of all, such activities have become a threat to national security, said Rathna Gamage, National Organiser for the All Island General Fisheries Federation. This statement was made during a media brief held yesterday (17). "It is illegal for any Indian or any foreign fishing vessel to enter Sri Lankan waters. They are fishing using the bottom trawling fishing method. They fix two metal rods onto two boats with a net attached in the middle and destroy even the smallest of species and all forms of marine life. Not only do they destroy marine life, but they also attack our Sri Lankan fisherman by attacking their boats and fishing equipment. This is a threat to our national security," said Gamage. Gamage also stated that this illegal fishing method has not only affected the northern fisherman, but the stock of fish collected in the north has a direct impact on the national economy. He further stated that the Indian fishing trawlers could be seized and confiscated, and under the existing laws can be fined up to 7.5mn rupees. Gamage said that about 10,000 of such trawlers enter Lankan waters every month, with only two vessels impounded and produced before court, which is about 0.3% of the total vessels that could be impounded. In concluding, Gamage stated that the Government and leaders of Sri Lanka have not taken a stern decision on this matter, and has thus affected the sovereignty and National Security of Sri Lanka.