Use of high-powered trawlers, banned in Sri Lanka, by the Indian fishermen while fishing in Palk Strait remained a contentious issue in the talks between the fishermen of the two countries here on Monday.
The two sides, however, agreed to have another round of talks in Colombo after a month.
“Till that time, Sri Lankan representatives urged Tamil fishermen not to enter Sri Lankan waters as they need to convince their fishermen,” said a participant of the meeting held in Chennai.
The argument of the Sri Lankan side was that it was strictly implementing the ban on trawling since 2010 and over 250 mechanised boats constructed with crores of rupees were remaining idle. But Indian fishermen continue to use them.
“The Sri Lankan side complained that trawling nets are responsible for depletion of marine resource and destruction of small nets used by the Sri Lankan fishermen,” another representative of Indian fishermen said.
At the meeting, the representatives of Indian fishermen agreed to abstain from using purse seine nets and erattai madi valai while fishing in Palk Strait.
“These nets are banned in Sri Lanka. Now, the Fisheries department in Tamil Nadu has the task of ensuring that Tamil fishermen do not use the nets in all the 13 coastal districts in Tamil Nadu,” the representative said.
The Sri Lankan representatives had made it clear that they had no problem with Indians using gill nets.