KARACHI: Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (MSA) has detained at least 40 Indian fishermen and seized seven of their boats near Jakhau port off the Gujarat coast early on Friday, the Press Trust of India reported.
“The Pakistan Maritime Security Agency apprehended at least 40 Indian fishermen along with 7 of their boats near Jakhau port off the Gujarat coast at Arabian sea late last night,” Secretary of Indian National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF) Manish Lodhari told.
“Primary reports have revealed that all of them were captured near International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL), as these fishermen may have crossed the line due to dense fog during early morning. There is a possibility that the count of seizedboats and fishermen may rise,” he said.
Since there are no physical markings in the sea, fishermen are dependent on the GPS system installed on their boats to find out their exact location in the sea and proximity with IMBL.
“However, GPS is not fitted in all the boats. Moreover, only latest GPS devices show the IMBL on the screen, while older such devices do not support that function. As a result, it is difficult for fishermen to determine their exact location, even if they have GPS facility,” Lodhari said.
Fishermen are frequently arrested along with their boats by both India and Pakistan as the maritime border in the Arabian Sea is poorly defined, and many fishing boats lack the technology needed to be certain of their precise location.
Both countries also use the release of fishermen to express goodwill from time to time.
Earlier on February 6, Indian Coast Guard (ICG) intercepted a Pakistani fishing boat and arrested 11 fishermen for allegedly violating maritime boundary off Jakhau coast in Kutch district.