The Centre was examining the prospects of giving modernised boats and fishing equipment to Tamil Nadu fishermen to enable them go for deep sea fishing in the wake of alleged attacks on them by Sri Lankan Navy, Minister of State for Commerce and Industries Sudarsana Natchiappan said on Monday.

“We are looking for presenting modernised boats and other equipment to fishermen so that they can go into deep sea for fishing. This will help to root out the problems faced by them”, he told reporters in Chennai.

He said the modalities in this regard would be decided after discussions with fishermen.

“After the announcement based on the talks (held in Chennai last month), we will hold a meeting with fishermen on how it can be taken forward”, he said.

Representatives of India and Sri Lankan officials and fishermen’s associations participated in a meeting on January 27 here aimed to find a solution to the dispute over fishing in Palk Straits, which had seen Tamil Nadu fishermen frequently coming under alleged attacks and detentions by Lankan Navy frequently.

Sri Lanka accuses Tamil Nadu fishermen of straying into their territorial waters, while the latter maintain they are only fishing in their traditional areas, especially around Katchatheevu, an islet ceded by India to Colombo in 1974.

The two countries had decided to release over 400 fishermen in the custody of each other, prior to the meeting.

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