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India and Sri Lanka’s violent fight over fish

How a maritime border created a conflict in the Indian Ocean.

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

As people in India 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, making the relationship between the two communities that rely on these waters worse.

This is the latest episode of Vox Borders: India. In this episode, Vox Borders 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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