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Fisheries dispute between India and Sri Lanka UPSC NOTE


  • The resumption of fishing off India’s eastern coast including the Palk Bay, after the annual 61-day ban on fishing, has led to the death of a sailor from the Sri Lanka Navy. 

  • The Sri Lankan Navy had carried out an operation on June 25 morning to “chase away a cluster of Indian poaching trawlers” in Sri Lankan waters off Kankesanthurai, near Jaffna

  • A trawler-vessel was impounded and 10 fishermen apprehended, of whom were from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh

  • There have also been several cases of Indian (Tamil Nadu) fishermen dying too.

  • The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, M.K. Stalin, sought the intervention of the External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar, in releasing the vessel and the men

  • In his reply sent to the Chief Minister, Mr. Jaishankar said the Indian High Commission had been seeking the early release of 34 fishermen in judicial remand and six others who were serving sentences

  • This is an opportunity for the two countries to revive the negotiation process, exclusively to deal with the fisheries dispute, which became aggravated in the wake of the 1974 and 1976 bilateral agreements to demarcate their maritime boundary lines. 

  • The acts of Indian fishermen crossing the international maritime boundary line are clearly illegal; factors relating to protection of livelihood opportunities cannot be delinked from the importance of the preservation of the marine ecosystem. 

  • A gradual replacement of bottom trawlers being used by the Tamil Nadu fishermen is a must, but the fisherfolk require time to prepare for diversification — deep sea fishing, marine cage farming, seaweed cultivation and processing, and sea ranching. 

  • The experiences of the deep sea fishing project, are clear enough to conclude that it is a failure. 

  • After nearly seven years of implementation, only 61 deep sea fishing vessels have been handed over to beneficiaries, with 19 more under construction. 

  • It would be thoughtful if the Union government clubs the project with an all-India programme, where the unit cost of a deep sea fishing vessel is ₹40 lakh higher, at least to get a better response even at this stage. 

  • The unit cost of a deep sea fishing vessel under the Central-State project is ₹80 lakh

  • New Delhi and Colombo can devise additional schemes to help the Northern Province’s fishermen even more. 

  • But what is more important is that the two countries, representatives of the fishing community and officials from Tamil Nadu and the Northern Province should meet soon to find a way out of the dispute

Deep-sea fishing project / Palk Bay scheme

  • Launched in July 2017 under the Blue Revolution programme.

  • Deep-sea fishing is a project of the Central and State governments.

  • It has been touted as the remedy for the problems faced by fishermen of Ramanathapuram district in the hands of the Sri Lankan Navy.

  • The share of beneficiary contribution is a mere 10% of the cost of every boat.

  • While the Central government will meet 50% of the cost and the State government will meet 20%

  • The remaining 20% will be through institutional finance or loan component.

  • The changes have been made so that fishermen-beneficiaries are not put to much hardship



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Fisheries dispute between India and Sri Lanka UPSC NOTE
Fisheries dispute between India and Sri Lanka UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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