Coast Guard prepared to aid distressed fishermen in deep waters: Antony

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New Delhi, Dec 14 (ANI): Defence Minister A K Antony said here on Monday that the Indian Coast Guard is ready to extend aid to distressed Indian fishermen in deep waters.

Replying to a question in the Lok Sabha, Antony said: "Indian Coast Guard provides assistance to Indian fishermen at sea while they are in distress."

"The Coast Guard aircrafts and ships carry regular patrols to prevent Indian fishing boats crossing the International Maritime Boundary Lines (IMBL) and also conduct 'Community Interaction Programme' to inform the fishermen on the perils of cross border fishing," he added.

He informed the house that Indian fishermen are generally apprehended by foreign navies when they have been engaged in fishing inside their territorial waters.

"As per records in navy, 35 Indian fishing boats with 200 fishermen have been apprehended by Pakistani Navy and 31 fishing boats with 123 fishermen have been apprehended by Sri Lankan Navy this year," Antony said.

Antony further informed the House that 14 Pakistani and 119 Sri Lankan fishing boats were apprehended while fishing in Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) since January 2009.

"Enhanced aerial and surface surveillance/patrolling off the sea-coast by the security agencies would be continued to deter such incidents," Antony said. (ANI)

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