Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Sarang apprehended two fishing boats with 10 Sri Lankan fishermen for illegally fishing in Indian waters.

An official release stated that the fishermen were caught with about 1,000 kg of fish onboard. It was the first seizure of Sri Lankan fishing vessels in 2011. Last year, ICGS had apprehended 103 boats with 511 crew carrying 84,861 kg of catch.

According to the ICG officials, a Coast Guard Dornier aircraft during aerial surveillance off the Tamil Nadu coast detected two Sri Lankan fishing boats on January 3. The boats were fishing in the exclusive economic zone. ICGS Sarang, an advanced off shore patrol vessel on regular deployment, was directed to intercept and apprehend the boats.

The boats — Lahru and Kavisha — that set sail from Trincomalee Port in Sri Lanka, was apprehended 52 miles east of Nagapattinam on January 4.

Due to unfavourable weather conditions it took three days to escort these boats to Kasimedu Fishing Harbour for handing over to police on Friday. The boats were fitted with global positioning system and worldwide high frequency radio communication sets. Their arrest is a result of continued and extensive deployment of ICG ships and aircraft in Indian maritime zones on the eastern seaboard, the release said.

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