Sri Lanka, India fisheries talks soft on poaching

Jan 15, 2012 (LBO) – Talks between India and Sri Lanka on fisheries have ended with no deal on firm action to stop poaching by south Indian fishermen in the island’s northern waters. “Acknowledging that fisheries involved the socio-economic and livelihood dimensions of the fishermen living in coastal areas in India and Sri Lanka, the two sides agreed to enhance cooperation that would allow both countries to pursue their fishing activity in a safe, secure and sustainable manner, including discouraging fishermen from using destructive fishing methods,” it said.

“They also discussed measures for the expeditious release of bonafide fishermen from both countries. The need to respect the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) was stressed by the Sri Lankan side.”

Also, no agreement was reached on a Memorandum of Understanding on Development and Cooperation in the field of fisheries with the two countries only agreeing to “work towards concluding the same at an early date.”

The India-Sri Lanka Joint Working Group on Fisheries has had a “salutary effect” with a decrease in violent incidents, an Indian High Commission statement said after its fourth meeting in Colombo on Janu