The Ministry of Aquatic Resources and Fisheries will not consider returning the boats of the Indian fisherman that were taken in to custody by the Sri Lankan navy while poaching in Sri Lankan seas.
Minister of Aquatic Resources and Fisheries Rajitha Senaratne told The Sunday Leader that these boats were taken into the custody while they were engaged in fishing illegally in the Sri Lankan seas using illegal methods of fishing. “The Indian government has not made a request for the release of the boats, they only approached us to ensure the release of the Indian fishermen who were arrested while poaching in the Northern sea area,” he added.
He further said that the boats would not be released under any circumstances.
When asked what the government expect to do with the boats, Minister Senaratne said that they would continue to keep them in their custody. “There is no purpose in auctioning the boats.
Bottom trawling is illegal in Sri Lanka and those boats won’t serve any purpose for the fishermen here,” he added. Recently the new Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam sought the assistance of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene to secure the release of the boats of the Indian fishermen from Sri Lankan custody. (WK)