Colombo, Feb 12 (IANS): The Sri Lankan Fisheries Ministry will soon introduce a GPS tracking system and a special identity card for all fishermen across the island country to prevent human and drug smuggling via the sea, a government official has said.
Fisheries Director General Prasanna Geeganage said on Monday that drug trafficking, smuggling of illegal migrants and other illegal activities were being carried out under the guise of fishing and steps would soon be taken to tackle this issue, Xinhua news agency reported.
Following the introduction of the GPS tracking system and the identity card, all fishermen who set out to sea will be required to prove their identity by scanning their fingerprints.
The new steps were being taken following repeated requests by Sri Lankan fishermen, Geeganage said.
The Sri Lankan government recently said the island country had become a transit point for major drug cartels as a consequence of the prolonged illicit activities of the Tamil Tiger rebels who were defeated by government troops in 2009 following a 30-year civil conflict.