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* Sri Lanka passes bill banning bottom-trawling and other illegal fishing activities
Fri, Jul 7, 2017, 09:53 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

July 07, Colombo: Sri Lanka parliament on Thursday unanimously passed a bill banning the destructive fishing practice of bottom-trawling in the island waters, and imposing heavy fines on the violators.

The Bill will affect thousands of Sri Lankans and Indians fishing in the sea between Sri Lanka and India, and will particularly hit Tamil Nadu and Puducherry fishermen as these are the biggest offenders as far as bottom trawling in Lankan waters is concerned.

The Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (Amendment) Bill, was first introduced in April 2015 as a private members bill by MP M A Sumanthiran and later converted into a government bill.

The bill prohibits the use, possession, import, transport, purchase and sale of trawl nets for the purpose of carrying trawling operations in Lankan waters. The punishment prescribed is a fine of Rs. 50,000 and two years of imprisonment.

Meanwhile, foreign fishing vessels, fisheries equipment, fishermen who are engaged in illegal fishing in the Sri Lankan waters will be taken into custody and the fines will be increased several times.

Accordingly, the fines imposed on foreign fishing vessels have been increased from Rs. 1 million to Rs 100 million, the Ministry of Fisheries said.


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