Colombo: Sri Lanka Navy has arrested at least 18 Indian fishermen and seized three dhows (vessel) for allegedly poaching in the country's territorial waters.
The Navy arrested the fishermen in the seas 16 nautical miles west of Point Pedro during a Naval patrol.
Eighteen Indian fishermen were arrested from Tamil Nadu for allegedly breaching the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and illegally fishing in Sri Lankan waters, the Navy said.
Three dhows used by them were also been taken into naval custody and brought to SLNS Uttara in Jaffna, Colombo Page reported.
After a medical test, the fishermen will be handed over to the Assistant Director of Fisheries in Jaffna for further investigation, the Navy Media Unit said.
In January 2018, Sri Lanka increased by over 100 times the fine on foreign vessels to deter them from fishing in its waters, amid the dispute over the frequent entry of Indian fishing trawlers into the country's maritime territory.
The main aim of the move is to prevent illegal fishing activities in the Sri Lankan waters and protect the fisheries and aquatic resources of the country's coastal belt.