Published: | Canada

The Violent Fight Over Fish Between Two Tamil Communities

Fishing is the economic lifeline for villages in northern Sri Lanka. But after a decades long civil war, fishermen returned to find their fish stocks depleted – and they pointed the finger squarely at neighboring India.

Fishing is the economic lifeline for villages in northern Sri Lanka. But after a decades long civil war, fishermen returned to find their fish stocks depleted – and they pointed the finger squarely at neighboring India. 

As Indian fishermen developed methods to increase hauls, and crossed a maritime border that was more permeable during the war, they depleted the fish stock for both sides. 

Now, the Sri Lankan Navy is retaliating with force, only making the relationship between the two Tamil communities that rely on these waters worse. 

This Vox Borders episode looks at how the drawing of a maritime border and lack of access to fish caused a conflict between two communities that used to live in harmony.

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