Naval personnel deployed onboard Inshore Patrol Craft attached to the Northern Naval Command with the assistance of the Coastguard took into custody nine (09) persons along with four (04) Fibre Glass Dinghies (FGDs) for causing destruction to fish breeding grounds and illegal fishing in the seas north-east of Point Pedro today (15 August 2017).
The Navy and the Coastguard sprang into action upon observation that the suspects, under the guise of traditional fishing, were in actuality trapping cuttlefish into illegally made enclosures, encircling a wide sea area using fishing nets, sand bags and twigs. The unscrupulous method has caused enormous destruction to fish breeding grounds and led to the depletion of fish stocks substantially. If allowed to continue, the wanton destruction made with the sole intention of making a fast buck with scant regard for the repercussions would adversely affect the livelihoods of law-abiding fishermen and deal a deadly blow to the fishing industry in the area, which is fast improving as a result of the constant vigilance maintained by the Navy in collaboration with the Coastguard.
The arrested persons along with the FGDs were handed over to the Assistant Fisheries Director of Jaffna for legal action as their illegal mode of fishing was in clear contravention of the fishing methods approved under the Fisheries Act.