KARACHI/AHMEDABAD -  Over 80 Indian fishermen have been apprehended by Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) over the violation of international territorial waters.

PMSA seized 10 to 12 boats with over 80 Indian fishermen on board in the Arabian sea off the Gujarat coast in Pakistani maritime zone, a fishermen's association said.

"The fishermen, who managed to escape, informed that PMSA seized 10 to 12 boats," said Manish Lodhari, secretary of National Fish Workers Forum.

“The boats were seized near the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL),” he claimed, adding that these boats were mostly from Okha and Mangrol on Gujarat coast.

PMSA had also seized two boats off Gujarat coast earlier this week and apprehended 11 fishermen.

In the last week of January, it had seized six boats and apprehended 36 fishermen. Meanwhile, on Pakistani side, City Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Adeel Hussain Chandio said the fishermen were arrested from within the sea limits of Pakistan.

The SSP added that their boats were also seized and handed over to the Docks Police for further legal action.

SHO Docks Police Shaukat Ali said 85 Indian fishermen and 14 launches were seized as part of the operation. The arrested fishermen will likely be presented before a court on Monday.

Indian and Pakistani fishermen are frequently detained over illegal fishing since the Arabian Sea border is not clearly defined, and many boats lack the technology to fix their precise location.

The fishermen often languish in jail, even after serving their terms, as poor diplomatic ties between the two neighbours mean fulfilling bureaucratic requirements that can take a long time.

As per PMSA’s version of the incident, the fishermen were apprehended when they entered the Pakistani waters.

“As the boats entered the Pakistani borders, PMSA managed to arrest the fishermen along with 14 boats,” PMSA said.

The concerned PMSA officials were not available when approached for comments.