Mannaar fishermen face prolonged existential crisis due to Indian poaching

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 July 2015, 23:24 GMT]
The States of India and Sri Lanka are reluctant to resolve the conflict caused by poaching by Indian fishermen in the territorial waters of the Northern province for political reasons, says the Chairman of Federation of Mannaar District Fisheries Associations Mr Noor Mohamed Aalam. The intruding poaching trawlers, numbering from 1,500 to 3,000, have completely disabled 10,000 native fishermen from engaging fishing three nights a week. New Delhi and Colombo are not resolving the issue by locking the fishermen societies into a prolonged process of negotiations with hidden political motives, he said.

The fleet of intruding trawlers engage in bottom trawling causing severe damage to the natural and fishing resources in the district.

Fishing is the sole livelihood for 10,000 families in Mannaar district. 8,500 fishermen are males and 1,500 families are female-headed. A total number of 35,000 people are directly dependent on fishing to sustain their lives in this district, Mr Noor Mohamed told TamilNet.

The war-affected fishermen are again severely affected by the poaching by Indian trawlers, Mr Mohamed Aalam said.

“We are no longer prepared to allow the intruding trawlers to destroy the natural resources. In the next meeting, we will demand to put a complete stop to the crisis by limiting the entry of the Indian trawlers into our coast,” he said.


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