At least 12 Indian fishermen were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy for allegedly poaching in the country's territorial waters, an official said on Sunday.
"The fishermen were arrested near Point Pedro between 5 and 5:30 this evening (local time),” Sri Lankan Navy spokesman Captain Indika de Silva told PTI.
He said the arrested fishermen were being brought to Myladi in the northern Jaffna peninsula where they would be handed over to the fisheries directorate.
In recent weeks, the northern fishermen have been complaining of increased poaching in the Sri Lankan waters by Indian fishermen.
The locals claimed that Indians were taking the opportunity as the number of locals going fishing has been severely curtailed by the ongoing fuel crisis.
The fishermen issue is a contentious one in ties between the two countries.
There have been periodic instances of Indian fishermen being apprehended by Sri Lankan authorities for allegedly crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and fishing in Sri Lankan waters.
There have been several alleged incidents of the Lankan Navy personnel even firing at Indian fishermen in the Palk Strait and seizing their boats.
The Palk Strait, which is a narrow strip of water separating Tamil Nadu from Sri Lanka, is a rich fishing ground for fishermen from both countries.