Naval operations net 40 persons with illegally harvested sea cucumber

Naval search operations conducted in the past couple of days in North Central and Northwestern Commands led to the apprehension of 40 persons with 2186 illegally harvested sea cucumbers.

During search operations conducted by the North Central Naval Command at Lokkannawadi beach in Walaipadu, Nachchikuda area and Konthampiddi in Mannar from 31st October to 03rd November, about 1544 illegally harvested sea cucumbers were found in 05 fishing vessels. Further, the Navy was able to take hold of 21 persons, 05 fishing vessels, diving gear and several other fishing accessories during this operation.

In another operation conducted in Thewampiddi area, Thunukkai on 01st November, the same Naval Command combined with the Illuppukadawai Police to nab a suspicious house-dweller with 63 boiled sea cucumbers harvested by illegal means.

In the same vein, search operations conducted by the Northwestern Naval Command in Arippu-East beach area and along the seaboard extending from Kondachchikuda to Arippu on 04th and 05th November made way to apprehend 19 individuals who were illegally harvesting sea cucumber. Along with the suspects 642 sea cucumbers, 04 dinghies as well as diving and fishing gear were held be the Navy.

The persons apprehended during these separate operations were identified as residents of Walaipadu in Mannar, Jaffna, Nachchikuda and Arippu and ranged from 19 to 58 years of age. Further, the accused along with illegally harvested sea cucumber, fishing vessels and remaining accessories were handed over to the Assistant Director of Fisheries in Mannar, Jeypuram and Illuppukadawai Police stations and Fisheries Inspectors of Kilinochchi and Silawathura for onward investigations. All these operations were carried out following strict safety and health procedures in the backdrop of the recurrence of COVID -19 pandemic.