112 persons held for engaging in illegal fishing

Sri Lanka Navy and Sri Lanka Coast Guard held 112 persons for engaging illegal fishing, during special operations conducted in the Western, Eastern, Northern, North Central, Northwestern and Southern Naval Commands from 01st to 31st October to 2021. The operations also led to the apprehension of 01 lorry, 26 fishing vessels and fishing accessories used for these illegal acts.

The accused were held on the charges of engaging in fishing without valid passes, illegal harvesting of sea cucumber, fishing with explosives, engaging in night diving to catch fish, transporting dried sea cucumber in violation of license conditions, transportation of illegal fishing gear, possession of dried shark and shark fins, use of unauthorized nets and fishing in restricted areas.

The suspects involved in these acts were identified as residents of Kadakarchchenai, Kattaparichchan, Kalpitiya, Trincomalee, Nilaveli, Mannar, Mulankavil, Ichchalampaththu, Kuchchaveli, Poduwakattu, Beruwala, Talaimannar, Velalai, Ichchampatar, Kadiraveli, Thoppur, Muthur, Kinniya, Thoduwawa, Mahawewa, China Bay, Tangalle and Kaththankudi. The apprehended suspects were from 19 to 59 years of age.

The operations were conducted adhering to COVID-19 protocols in effect due to pandemic concerns. The suspects, fishing vessels and other fishing gear held in these operations were handed over to the Fisheries Inspectors of Puttalam, Trincomalee, Kuchchaveli, Mannar, Mullaitivu, Mailaddy, and Kirinda and the Sampoor, Thalangama, Nilaveli and Kaththankudi Police for onward legal action.

In addition, the Navy will continue to conduct operations in coastal areas around the island to prevent harm to the marine ecosystem due to illegal fishing practices.