The Indian Coast Guard has distributed a leaflet in fishing areas calling upon seafaring fishermen to stick to the guidelines in the leaflet. The Coast Guard endeavour comes against the backdrop of the Marines of the Italian oil tanker Enrica Lexie opening fire on a fishing vessel off the Ambalappuzha coast on Wednesday killing two fishermen.
The leaflet in Malayalam, distributed on Sunday afternoon, warns that armed security guards are posted on ships for security following a rise in pirate attacks. Therefore, fishing boats should not go near ships while out at sea. Going close to ships can be dangerous because it will arouse suspicion and fishing boats can be mistaken for pirate vessels.
The leaflet has drawn the protest of the fishing community.
Kerala State Fishing Boat Operators Association president M.S. James says that fishing boats do not venture into shipping channels.