Sri Lanka notes importance of addressing fishing issue with India

Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to India Chitranganee Wagiswara has advised the Governments of India and Sri Lanka discuss the fisheries issues, the ANI news agency reported.

Wagiswara’s statement comes days after Colombo said the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (Amendment) Bill would be detrimental to the traditional fishing rights of Indians.

“Fisheries issue is something for which we need to talk to each other. We have to speak to each other and have fisheries talks. Our fisheries ministers visit each other and a joint working group is discussing how to sort this issue,” the Sri Lankan envoy told ANI.

Meanwhile, Managing Director, Sri Lanka Tourism promotion bureau, Sutheash Balasubramanian told ANI “Fisheries issues are different we need to talk each other. Fishermen from Tamil Nadu area coming for fishing in our territory naturally our fishermen are issue over it and their livelihood as well.”

“Solution is to talk to each other to see how we can sort out the issue and hope we do it soon,” he added.

On Jan 26, Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Mahinda Amaraweera said, “Sri Lankan parliament has approved the amendments (to the Foreign Fisheries boats Regulation Act) to increase fines on foreign vessels poaching in the country’s waters.

The draft Bill for amending the Fisheries Act No 59 of 1979 (Foreign Fisheries boats Regulation Act) was presented in Parliament for approval on Jan 24. The Act aims to prevent illegal fishing activities in the Sri Lankan waters and protect the fisheries and aquatic resources of the country’s coastal belt. (Colombo Gazette)

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