54 persons held for engaging in illegal fishing

Several operations carried out by the Navy in different sea areas of the island from 12th November to 13th December 2020 led to the apprehension of 54 individuals, along with their fishing gear, for engaging in illegal fishing.

Accordingly, operations conducted by the North Central Naval Command in Waleipadu, Pallimunai, South Bar sea areas in Mannar on 19th and 26th of November and 01st and 07th of December led to the apprehension of 32 individuals and seizure of 08 fishing vessels, 08 unauthorized nets and several diving gear, for engaging in unauthorized night diving and use of banned nets for fishing.

Meanwhile, the Eastern Naval Command nabbed 19 persons and held 05 fishing vessels 03 unauthorized nets and few more fishing accessories, during operations conducted in sea areas of Adukkupadu in Nilaveli, Koneshwaram and Foul Point in Trincomalee on 12th of November and 08th and 10th of December. The suspects of these incidents had engaged in fishing violating the conditions of fishing passes and using unauthorized fishing nets.

Further, the Northwestern Naval Command, after having spotted 02 dinghies with identical registration numbers in the seas off Uchchamunai, Puttalam, apprehended 02 suspects along with the dingy with a fake registration number.

In a separate development, the Northern Naval Command and the Ilavalei Police collared a suspect for the possession of 3840 conch shells without a permit, during a coordinated search operation carried out in Pandathirippu area in Madagal on 04th December.

The apprehended suspects were identified as residents of Mannar, Nilaveli, Poduwakattu, Kuchchaveli, Kinniya, Kalpitiya and Ilawalei area, from 21 to 64 years of age. The accused along with the fishing vessels, unauthorized nets, diving gear and fishing accessories were handed over to the Police station of Jayapuram and Ilawalei, Assistant Directors of Fisheries in Mannar and Trincomalee and Fisheries Inspector of Kalpitiya for onward investigation.