Navy apprehends 179 persons for engaging in illegal fishing

Naval operations carried out from 01st January to 15th February 2021 in Western, Eastern, Northern, Northwestern, North Central and Southern, Naval Commands, led to the apprehension of 179 persons along with 42 fishing boats, a lorry, a three-wheeler and fishing accessories, for engaging in illegal fishing.

The accused had been taken into naval custody for a wide range of offences which included engaging in fishing without valid passes, using unauthorized fishing nets, engaging in night diving to catch fish, illegal possession of shark fins, conch shells and sea cucumbers as well as transportation of sea turtle eggs for sale.

The accused held in these operations were identified as residents of Mannar, Pallekuda, Pooneryn, Chunnagam, Vankalai, Nachchikuda, Bogaswewa, Vedithalativu, Arippu, Uppuweli, Sallisambaltivu, Kalpitiya, Negombo, Kandakkuliya, Kudawa, Puttalam, Norochcholai, Vennappuwa, Wadduwa, Dikwella, Gandara, Iranawila, Ja-Ela, Alawwa, Hambantota and Jaffna areas, from 19 to 67 years of age. The apprehended persons together with their fishing boats and other gear had been handed over to the Fisheries Inspectors of Trincomalee, Mannar, Pesalai, Silawathura, Kalpitiya, Puttalam, Hambantota, Kilinochchi and Jaffna, Police Stations in Pettah and Dikwella and National Aquaculture Development Authority in Padaviya for onward investigations.

All these operations were carried out adhering to COVID-19 guidelines that are in place to arrest the spread of the pandemic.