20 June, 2024


Indo-Lanka Fishing Crisis: Sharing Territories For A Better Catch!

By Ayesh Indranath Ranawaka

Ayesh Indranath Ranawaka

It’s irrational to fear about India’s fishing practices in the Palk Strait and how it’s encroaching on Sri Lankan territory. This fear is negatively affecting the relationship between Sri Lanka and India. There is tension between the two countries as Sri Lankan fishermen feel Indian fishermen are invading their waters, leading to conflicts. This has also caused a strain in diplomatic relations, as both countries struggle to come to an agreement about how to share common resources of the Indian Ocean.

The media’s portrayal of the relationship between Sri Lanka and India has had a negative effect on their Trawling activities. The media has highlighted the illegal activities of Indian fishermen, which has led to a hostile attitude towards India from Sri Lankan fishermen and other citizens. This has resulted in increased tensions between the two countries, making it more difficult for them to cooperate on the issue of Trawling.

The geopolitical tensions in the Indian Ocean have had direct effects on the fishing industry in Sri Lanka. In recent years, the Sri Lankan government has implemented a number of fishing restrictions in order to protect the coastal areas and marine life. These include a ban on trawling in certain areas, a ban on fishing with certain types of nets, and a ban on fishing in high-security zones.

These restrictions have had a significant impact on the local fishing communities, who have been left feeling “suffocated and helpless”.

In terms of environmental and economic sustainability, deep-sea trawling doesn’t make sense. A blue revolution can help protect the marine by ensuring sustainable fishing practices. This could involve the implementation of regulations such as catch limits and quotas to ensure that fish stocks are not over-fished. Additionally, more efficient fishing techniques such as selective fishing can be adopted to reduce the amount of bycatch and ensure that only the desired species is caught. Finally, the implementation of marine protected areas can help to preserve the ecosystems of the deep sea and ensure the survival of marine species.

The Sri Lanka Fisheries department has been requested to experiment a technique for catching prawns, which are buried in four inches deep mud. Its aimed at determining the best methods for catching prawns in shallow waters, as well as studying the effects of different fishing techniques on the local ecosystem. It is hoped that the results of this experiment will lead to better management of the fisheries and help to ensure the sustainability of the local marine life. Unfortunately, there has been no response to this from the relevant authorities, leaving the local fishermen without help, and at a loss.

The Indian fishing industry contributes 8 billion USD to the economy annually through fish exports. Out of which, 2 billion come from prawns 25% of that are caught in our waters we believe. About 300 million USD is the economic contribution we make from Our fish export, so it’s obvious we need to work together. It is also imperative that we take steps to conserve the marine environment and protect our livelihoods.

One way we can work with India in sustainable mid sea Trawling is through international collaboration and cooperation. We can encourage the development of sustainable fishing practices and support programs that provide economic opportunities to both countries. It would be a good time to partner with India to use the assets of the ocean, such as tracking vessels, fixing transponders, and reducing engine capacity, to catch the prawns in 4-inch-deep mud without damaging the deep-sea environment. India and Sri Lanka can collaborate to ensure the security and safety of the Indian Ocean. Both countries can work together to address issues such as illegal fishing and maritime pollution, in addition to providing a safe and secure environment for shipping and trade.

Additionally, both countries can work together to promote regional economic integration and cooperation, by creating a more conducive environment for investments, trade and marine tourism.

The development of policies that promote responsible fishing practices is essential. Collaboration between the government, the fishing industry, and other stakeholders is necessary in order to take advantage of the lucrative fishing business. Financial incentives should be provided by the government to encourage sustainable fishing practices and regulations should be created to protect fish stocks. The fishing industry should make use of modern technology to increase efficiency and reduce the impact of their operations on the environment. Finally, other stakeholders should help to promote sustainable fishing practices and support efforts to conserve the marine environment.

There is an urgent need to resolve the Indian Trawling issue in Sri Lankan waters and establish a solution. Both countries would benefit from entering into a bilateral agreement outlining the terms of their use of the waters. We should quit the fight of possession and recognize each other’s right to fish in Palk Strait and set up a mutual fishing agreement that outlines the terms of use. This agreement should ensure that both countries will take steps to protect marine life, as well as put measures in place that prevent poaching and illegal fishing.

In this context, INORA is a nonprofit guarantee limited company with a vision to make Sri Lanka a “marine nation by 2050” supported by community-based management initiatives. These initiatives will focus on sustainable fishing, marine pollution, and coastal conservation. By developing a community-driven approach, we can create a healthier ocean ecosystem and become a leader in marine conservation.

Working towards a sustainable marine environment requires a concerted effort from governments, industries, and citizens alike.

High Caliber team of expertise will be an excellent source of advice and guidance on how to draft this very sensitive bilateral agreement while managing our oceans responsibly and sustainably. This includes the joint efforts on reducing plastic waste and other pollutants too.

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Latest comments

  • 2

    Indian fishermen should not fish in sri lankan waters.Simple as that.If they do, arrest them.

  • 2

    “The media has highlighted the illegal activities of Indian fishermen, which has led to a hostile attitude towards India from Sri Lankan fishermen and other citizens. This has resulted in increased tensions between the two countries, making it more difficult for them to cooperate on the issue of Trawling.”

    the media is doing its job highlighting them destroying our fishing by using trawlers.India has to just stop them from doing this to avoid the tension described.They are not doing it because these trawlers are owned by big people with political influence and money. tensions be damned.

    • 1

      There was seasonal sharing in the last century, even after the Indira-Sirima agreement of 1974.
      Trouble began after oversize India fishing boats repleted the fish stock on India’s southern coast. Indian poaching was facilitated by SL Navy restricting Northern fishermen taking to sea during the civil war.
      The disgrace of it all is that Tamil leaders do not dare to speak up.

      • 0

        India fishing boats DEPLETED the fish stock

        • 0

          good that you noticed the error or we would have thought you were RAW agent.

      • 0


        for once again i agree with you.Are you trying to come closer to me?

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