India and Sri Lanka's violent fight over fish

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Shared July 10, 2019

How a maritime border created a conflict in the Indian Ocean.
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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 communities that rely on these waters worse. 

This Vox Borders episode will look 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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