A team of officials from the State Fisheries Department and 54 fishermen from Kottaipattinam and Jegadapattinam left for Sri Lanka during the early hours of Friday to receive 14 boats which were seized by Sri Lankan Navy personnel in the last three months.
According to official sources, the Sri Lankan Navy arrested fishermen of Kottaipattinam and Jegadapattinam while fishing in mid sea and seized their boats. While the arrested fishermen were released in batches and had already returned to their villages, their boats remained in the custody of the Lankan authorities.
As the boats had to be towed from Sri Lanka, fishermen and officials left for Sri Lanka by boats on Friday. The Sri Lankan authorities are expected to handover the boats this evening and return to their villages on Saturday. While eight boats belonged to fishermen of Jegadapattinam, six boat owners hailed from Kottaipattinam, sources said.