In a swift operation, Indian Coast Guard apprehended 04 Myanmarese poachers illegally fishing in Indian waters off Barren Island. In the early hours on 02 May 21, Indian Coast Guard ship Rajshree, during routine patrol in area, sighted one boat operating off Barren Island close to coast. The CG ship tried to establish communication with the boat,
however, the boat did not respond. On realizing the presence of CG ship, the boat increased speed and entered the shallow waters to evade. The CG ship also increased speed to intercept, however, could not close the boat due to depth restrictions. The CG ship promptly responded by lowering ship’s boat and dispatched boarding party for investigation/ interception.
In order to escape apprehension by Indian Coast Guard, the poachers carried out forced ditching of their boat on the rocky shores of Barren and tried to flee in to the Island. The swift response and counter manoeuvre by CG boarding party resulted in apprehension of 02 poachers, while other managed to escape into the dense forest in the island. The boarding party also recovered fish catch including sea cucumber, turtle skull and conch shells from the ditched boat.
The persistent efforts by CG ship to search for missing poachers resulted in apprehension of 02 more poachers on 03 May 21. It is suspected that some of the poachers are still hiding in dense forest on Barren Island.
The information has been shared with local police, forest department and fisheries authorities. Search of remaining poachers is in progress by CG ship. The apprehended poachers were handed over to local police at Port Blair on 04 May 21 for further investigation.
The Coast Guard PRO added that this is second apprehension by Indian Coast Guard in 10 days which highlights our commitment to protect the sovereign rights of our country within the Maritime Zones of India. Indian Coast Guard in coordination with local police will carry out a joint search operation for missing poachers on Barren Island.
Despite challenges posed by COVID-19, Coast Guard ships and aircraft are on patrol 24×7, monitoring activities in Indian EEZ to thwart any nefarious activity in Maritime Zones of India. A communiqué received from PRO Coast Guard. ‘Vayam Rakshamah’ which means ‘We Protect’.