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Sri Lankan navy arrests 12 Indian fishermen

Sri Lankan Navy on Thursday arrested 12 Indian fishermen for allegedly poaching in its territorial waters. Photograph: (Reuters)

Reuters Sri Lanka Jul 05, 2018, 01.27 PM (IST)

 Sri Lankan Navy on Thursday arrested 12 Indian fishermen for allegedly poaching in its territorial waters.

The fishermen had gone out fishing when they were apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy near Karainagar area in the early hours of the day and their two boats were seized.

Tamil Nadu Fishing Federation Secretary, C.R. Senthilvel, said despite meeting ministers and protesting the frequent arrests, no solution had been provided for the problem that has troubled them for a long time.

India shares an expansive oceanic border with Sri Lanka without any perceptible demarcation and fishermen on both sides ignore rules while netting their catch. Sri Lanka has long fumed over poaching and illegal fishing by Indian fishermen that it says depletes the catch of its own fishermen.

Fishermen from both countries frequently stray into each other's territory and end up spending years in jails. The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea states that fishermen who cross territorial waters can be warned and fined but not arrested.

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