The Northern Province’s newly appointed Fisheries Minister Pathinadar Danister is planning to visit to the Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu to resolve the crisis of massive-scale poaching by Indian fishermen. Mr. Danister told the Sunday Times he hoped to undertake the visit to hold discussions with the authorities there while he also called upon the Sri Lankan and Indian governments to find a ‘diplomatic solution’ to the poaching issue.
“Indian fishermen poaching in our territorial waters are affecting our fishermen particularly when the Indians use illegal fishing methods,” he said.
Mr. Danister said India was allowing its fishermen to come into Sri Lankan waters three days a week, thereby causing massive losses and hardships to Sri Lankan fisher folk.
“They come here, particularly looking for shrimps while most of the other varieties are dumped backed into the sea. They are destroying our corals and marine life,” he said. The minister said the northern fisher families were severely affected and if action was not taken immediately, Sri Lanka’s northern waters might end up with few or no fish.
“We should find a diplomatic solution and refrain from any violence as Tamil Nadu people have been helpful to the Sri Lankan Tamils who fled the country and sought refuge there during the war. Some of them have sacrificed their lives for our cause. The crisis should be solved diplomatically and urgently,” he said.