(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Sri Lanka will soon introduce stringent laws against poaching in the island's territorial waters, Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Mahinda Amaraweera has said.
He said the decision was taken at the ministerial level discussions held with the Indian fisheries minister in New Delhi recently.
He said that Indian fishermen's practice of using illegal fishing methods such as bottom trawling to catch fish in Sri Lankan waters has caused severe harm to fish while damaging the marine system.
Measures have been taken to create awareness on this matter among authorities of the Indian government, Minister said, adding that the number of Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan waters has come down by about 50%.
The government has already taken measures to devises stringent laws against the invading fishermen. The cabinet has approved foreign fishing trawlers draft bill aimed at tackling this issue. After the enactment of this bill provisions will be provided to apprehend and detain fishermen entering into the island's waters as well imposing prison sentences and fines.
The two countries during their discussions have agreed on proposals aimed at releasing fishermen while in detention in the two countries and install equipment to identify fishing trawlers.