Kakinada: Amid Indo-China boundary dispute and inputs about an intrusion from sea, Indian Coast Guards seized a Sri Lankan fishing vessel and detained six crew members off the East Coast of Kakinada.

On July 12, Indian Coast Guard Regional Headquarters received inputs about the presence of the Sri Lankan fishing vessel in the Indian waters.

Subsequently, Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Priyadarshini, which was on area patrol, was diverted to investigate the fishing vessel. ICGS Priyadarshini reached the designated area and seized the Sri Lankan fishing vessel `Induwara’.

Bearing registration number IMUL-A-1235 MTR, the vessel is registered in Mattara, Sri Lanka. It was loaded with approximately 600 kg fish.

“During the investigation, it was revealed that the vessel traveled to Devinuwara for fishing. It had sufficient fuel, water, and ration which signal that they wanted to stay in Indian waters for a longer period,” an official said.

The official said the fishing vessel violated the MZI Act 1981 which bans fishing and poaching by foreign vessels in Indian EEZ.

“The Sri Lankan fishing vessel along with six crew members is being escorted to the Kakinada port for trial. On arrival, joint investigation and rummaging will be carried out with the Marine Police, Customs, and Intelligence Bureau”, he said.

The official noted that the investigation by IB is considered given the ongoing Indo-China boundary dispute and the inputs from various sources about an intrusion from the sea route. “Subsequently, the vessel will be handed over to Marine Police for custody and legal proceedings,” he said.

Pertinently, the East Coast of Kakinada is generally suitable for Tuna fishes due to the prevalence of Zooplankton originated by the water flow of Krishna and Godavari rivers into the sea. The transoceanic Tuna fishes mount up in this particular area generally for breeding during the Monsoon period. Tuna species are in high demand and exported to foreign countries including the US and Europe.

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