The Navy apprehended 12 individuals on 07th and 08th July 2023 off Chalei and Chundikulam in Jaffna and Illuppukadawai in Mannar, while they were engaging in illegal fishing activities. During these special operations, the Navy also held 1870 illegally harvested sea cucumbers, unauthorised fishing gear and 04 dinghies used for these illegal acts.
The Navy conducts regular operations in the coastal and sea areas around the island in order to suppress illegal fishing activities performed by people. As an extension of these efforts, the Naval Deployment Veththalakerni in the Northern Naval Command carried out special operations in the dark hours of 07th July and nabbed 09 persons along with unauthorised fishing gear and 03 dinghies, whilst engaging in light-coarse fishing off Chalei and Chundikulam.
In addition, SLNS Buwaneka in the North Central Naval Command apprehended 03 individuals for fishing without valid passes off Illuppukadawai on the evening of 08th July. During this operation, the Navy also held 1870 illegally harvested sea cucumbers and a dinghy which was used for the illegal act.
The apprehended persons, ranging in age from 23 to 58, were from the areas of Dharmapuram, Vallipuram, Chilaw, Mailavapuram, Kallaru, Thalayadi and Walaipadu. Following the apprehensions, the Navy handed over the suspects, their belongings, and the illegally harvested sea cucumbers to the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Jaffna and Mannar Assistant Directorate of Fisheries for onward legal action.
Meanwhile, the Navy and Coast Guard conducted a special operation to chase away Indian poaching trawlers from Sri Lankan waters in the dark hours of 08th July 2023. The operation led to the apprehension of 02 Indian trawlers with 15 Indian nationals poaching in Sri Lankan waters off the Delft Island, Jaffna.
The Navy continues to conduct regular patrols and operations in Sri Lankan waters to curb illegal fishing practices of foreign fishing trawlers.
As an extension of these efforts, the Northern Naval Command deployed Fast Attack Craft of the 04th Fast Attack Flotilla and craft of the Sri Lanka Coast Guard to chase away a cluster of Indian poaching trawlers, having spotted they were engaging in illegal fishing in Sri Lankan waters off the Delft Island. In this operation, the Navy held 02 Indian poaching trawlers with 15 Indian fishers continuing to remain in Sri Lankan waters.
The seized trawlers together with Indian fishermen were brought to the Kankesanthurai Harbour and they will be handed over to the Mailadi Fisheries Inspector for onward legal proceedings.
Thus far in 2023, the Navy has seized 12 Indian poaching trawlers and 74 Indian fishermen in island waters and handed them over to authorities for legal action. Meanwhile, the Navy and the Coast Guard continue to carry out such operations for the protection of the marine environment and the livelihood of the local fishing community.
Source: SL Navy