New Delhi: Over 430 vessels have been apprehended by the Coast Guard for illegal fishing in Indian waters in the last five years, according to an RTI reply.
"Each of the 439 violating fishing boats has been booked under Section 3/10 and 7/14 of Maritime Zones of India (Regulation of fishing by Foreign vessels) Act, 1981 and Maritime Zones of India Rules, 1982," the Indian Coast Guard headquarters said.
The sections prohibits fishing in maritime zones of India by foreign vessel and mandates punishment with imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or with fine not exceeding Rs 15 lakh or both for any contraventions.
Exercising his Right to Information, an applicant had sought information on reported cases of illegal fishing in Indian waters between 2007 and 2012.
The applicant had also sought details of agreements signed by India with other countries for fishing and information on complaints received by Ministry of Agriculture from NGOs and foreign countries about illegal fishing in international waters among others.
"There is no agreement signed by India with any other country for fishing in coastal areas or in international waters," the reply by Assistant Commissioner (Fisheries) and Central Public Information Officer of Department of Animal husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries said.
The department, however, had no information about complaints received from NGOs and other foreign nations.
"No information is available with this department about complaints received from NGOs and foreign countries about illegal fishing in international waters," the CPIO said while forwarding the application to Indian Coast Guard to give further information related to apprehending vessels.