Colombo: Sri Lanka is mulling imposing fines as high as 150 million rupees on Indian fishermen poaching in the country’s waters, an officials said today.
The proposed amendments to Sri Lanka’s Fisheries Act will see the introduction of heavy penalties on Indian fishermen poaching in the island’s waters, Fisheries Director General MCL Fernando is quoted as saying in the Sunday Times.
The Indian poachers will be asked to pay penalties as high as 150 million rupees, Fernando says adding that existing laws in the country are not enough to tackle the issue.
Last week the Cabinet approved a similar proposal to fine SrI Lankan fishermen who do fishing in other’s waters without a valid license.
A separate committee has been appointed to draft a new bill to impose similar penalties on foreign vessels.
The government has also appointed an advisory board to formulate recommendations to solve the crisis of illegal poaching by the Indians.
Fishermen violating each other’s territorial waters has become a thorny issue in the Indo-Lanka relations.
Sri Lanka accuses Indian fishermen of straying into its territorial waters, while the latter maintain they are only fishing in their traditional areas, especially around Katchatheevu, an islet ceded to Colombo in 1974.
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