38 arrested for illegal fishing activities
Operations conducted by the Navy and a coordinated search carried out with the Police from 15 to 20 October led to the apprehension of 38 individuals who engaged in illegal fishing and other unlawful acts in different areas of the island, the Navy said.
The operation carried out by the Eastern Naval Command in the sea areas off Boulder Point, Foul Point, Gopalpuram, Nayaru and Batticaloa lagoon in Kotuwamada has resulted in the arrest of 28 persons over engaging in fishing by means of unauthorised nets, light-coarse fishing and illegal scuba diving activities.
Along with the suspects, seven dinghies, unauthorised nets and several other fishing gear were also seized by the Navy.
In another operation carried out by the Northwestern Naval Command , eight persons were arrested with two dinghies and few diving accessories. They were engaging in illegal diving to catch fish in the sea area Northwest of Uchchamunai Island.
Further, the North Central Naval Command in coordination with the Mannar Police carried out a search at a conch shell collection point in Erukkulampiddi area and managed to apprehend a suspect with 60 conch shells which are less than 70mm in diameter. During further investigations, it was possible to collar another individual for storing 1,814 conch shells by illegal means at a house in the same area.
The apprehended persons were between the ages of 21 and 55 years. The accuseds together with seized items and accessories were handed over to the Assistant Directors of Fisheries in Trincomalee and Batticaloa, Fisheries Inspectors of Mullaitivu, Kuchchaveli and Kalpitiya and Mannar Police station for onward investigations.