Forty three (43) persons engaged in illegal fishing held by Navy

During special operations conducted in the Eastern, Northern and North Central Naval Commands in the previous week, the Navy apprehended 43 persons along with dinghies and fishing gear for engaging in illegal fishing.

As such, the Eastern Naval Command had nabbed 32 persons together with 06 dinghies, over 500kg of illegally caught fish and fishing accessories, while they were engaging in light-coarse fishing and fishing with unauthorized nets. These special operations had been conducted in the sea areas off Pulmoddai, Norway Island and Salpeyaru, Trincomalee as well as Kotuwamada in Batticaloa lagoon. Similarly, the Northern Naval Command, during a search in the sea area north of Chundikulam, apprehended 06 persons engaged in illegal diving activities to harvest sea cucumber. Along with the suspects 02 dinghies, 54 illegally harvested sea cucumbers and several diving gear were detained by the Navy.

Meanwhile, the North Central Naval Command, during a search conducted in the general area of Wankaleipadu, held 02 more suspects with 11 illegally harvested sea cucumbers and seized a dinghy used by them. In two more operations conducted in Erukkulampiddi with the assistance of the Police STF in Mannar, the North Central Naval Command had arrested a person for possession of 247 conch shells less than 70mm perimeter as well as over 625kg of illegally harvested sea cucumber, and again collared 02 more suspects with 04 unauthorized nets, each is about 100m in length, hidden at a house in the area.

The apprehended persons are residents of Thiriyaya, Thoppur, Kinniya Muthur, Trincomalee, Erakkandi, Nilaveli, Mannar, Vankalai, Pesalai and Thalawila, from 18 to 46 years of age. The accused along with the dinghies and fishing gear were handed over to the Assistant Directors of Fisheries in Trincomalee, Mannar and Batticaloa as well as Fisheries Inspectors of Pulmoddai, Trincomalee, Mannar and Point Pedro for onward legal action.