Coast Guard apprehended over 430 vehicles for illegal fishing
According to a reply provided to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the Coast Guard has apprehended 439 vessels for illegal fishing in the Indian waters during the past 5 years. The Indian Coast Guard headquarters has informed that all the 439 violating fishing boats were booked under Section 3/10 and 7/14 of Maritime Zones of India (Regulation of fishing by Foreign vessels) Act, 1981 and Maritime Zones of India Rules, 1982. Under these sections, fishing in maritime zones of India by any foreign vessel is prohibited and it mandates punishment with imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or a fine not exceeding Rs 15 lakh or both for any contraventions. It was further informed that India has not signed any agreement with any other country for fishing in coastal areas or in international waters.
There have been complaints regarding illegal fishing in international waters. Apprehensions of the use of such vessels in smuggling and terrorism have been expressed.