48 individuals engaged in illegal fishing and unlawful acts nabbed during naval operations

The special operations conducted by the Navy across the island during the past week have led to the apprehension of 48 individuals who engaged in illegal fishing as well as other unlawful activities.

As such, the naval operations carried out in the Northern, Eastern, Western and North Central Naval Areas resulted in the apprehension of 34 persons for using unauthorized fishing nets, engaging in illegal diving activities, harvesting sea cucumber without licence and engaging in fishing without valid passes. These separate apprehensions had been made off the Elizabeth and Norway Islands in Trincomalee, off the Boulder Point, in Mandagalaru area, off the Talaimannar Pier, in seas off Mandativu, in the general area of Illuppaikaddawai and at the Inparsiddy Fisheries Harbour. Along with the suspects; 11 fishing vessels, 165kg of illegally caught fish, 370 sea cucumbers and several other fishing gear were also detained by the Navy.

In a separate development, the Navy also managed to nab a suspect with 121kg of unauthorized fishing nets made ready to be sold in the town area of Jaffna. Meanwhile, naval personnel hauled in 13 persons including a foreigner who were plying in Colombo harbour channel by 02 dinghies without life jackets and snapping the surrounding area.

The apprehended persons in connection to these incidents along with seized items were handed over to the Assistant Directors of Fisheries in Trincomalee, Jaffna and Mannar, Director of Fisheries in Jaffna, Fisheries Inspector of Kuchchaveli as well as Jeyapuram and Colombo Harbour Police stations for onward investigations.