Thiruvananthapuram | Kerala has approached the External Affairs Ministry to press for early release of 19 Indian fishermen, including six from the state, who have been detained off the coast of Diego Garcia since May 27 for allegedly trespassing into its territorial waters.
We have requested the External Affairs Ministry to rescue our fishermen. What we understood is that the ministry is already in touch with Diego Garcia authorities in this regard, Fisheries Minister J Mercykutty Amma told reporters here.
In view of such incidents, the government today decided to strictly enforce colourcoding of seabound fishing boats. Of the 19 fishermen detained in the British island, 12 were from Tamil Nadu’s Kanyakumari district, six from Kerala and one from Assam. The Keralite fishermen were those hailing from coastal hamlets Poovar and Poonthura near here.
The Minister said if the state fishing boats are painted with particular colours, as prescribed by the Centre, the Navy and Coast Guard can easily identify them, give them timely alerts and save them when they are about to cross the country’s maritime borders.
The colourcode provisions would be implemented during the upcoming trawling ban period, she said. It will not only ensure the safety of our fishermen but also check the presence of foreign trawlers in our territorial waters, she said.
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