Committee on poaching will survive change of govt. in India, says Rajitha

by Maheesha Mudugamuwa

Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne on Tuesday assured that there would be no changes in the high-powered Indo-Lanka committee appointed to solve poaching issue as the defeat of Indian National Congress would have no impact on India’s foreign policy.

Addressing the media at the Government Information Department, Dr. Senaratne said that India’s foreign policy would not be changed after the formation of a new government under PM Narendra Modi’s leadership.

He said, "The only change that will occur is that the new leader might either take a softer or harder line than the former leader Manmohan Singh on the fishermen issue."

The committee appointed following talks between Sri Lankan fisheries minister Rajitha Senarane and his Indian counterpart Sharad Pawar early this year will meet here in June to explore ways and means of evolving solutions to fishermen issues and to promote goodwill between the two fishing communities.

Meanwhile, Dr. Senaratne said that the Eighteenth Session of Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) would be held from June 1 to 5 in Colombo for the second time and would be attended by over 250 delegates and observers from nearly 35 countries in the Indian Ocean Region and beyond.

Representatives from major Distant Water Fishing Nations such as the EU, Japan, Korea, France, Taiwan and China will also attend the meeting, according to the Minister.

He explained that the Indian Ocean had much economic importance due to its vast resources of tuna, second to those in the Western and Central Pacific.

With the rapid development of fishing technology in the 60s and 70s commercial fishing had grown in the Indian Ocean Waters with the advent of distant water fishing fleets and domestic fleet expansion putting pressure on tuna resources, he said.

Minister Dr. Senaratne said that the objective of the commission was to promote cooperation among its members to ensure appropriate management, conservation and optimum utilisation of stocks covered by this agreement and to encourage sustainable development of fisheries.

Sri Lanka has been actively involved in the tuna resource management activities for over half a century, from the time IOTC was established for the management of Indian Ocean in 1968.

animated gif
Processing Request
Please Wait...