Navy apprehends 08 persons for illegal harvesting of sea cucumber in Mannar

The Navy apprehended 08 persons for illegal harvesting of sea cucumber in the sea areas of Silawathura and Vankalai of Mannar, during separate operations carried out in the early hours of 13th March 2023. The special operations also led to seize 814 illegally harvested sea cucumbers, diving gear and 02 dinghies.

The Navy conducts regular operations in the coastal and sea areas of the island in order to suppress illegal fishing activities performed by people with scant regard towards responsible fishing practices. In a similar effort, the Inshore Patrol Craft P 155 attached to SLNS Vijaya in the Northwestern Naval Command apprehended 03 persons who engaged in night diving without valid license to harvest sea cucumber in Silawathura sea area on 13th March. In this operation, the Navy also took hold of 580 sea cucumbers, diving gear and a dinghy.

On the same day, the Naval Detachment Vankalai of SLNS Pussadewa in the North Central Naval Command apprehended 05 individuals for harvesting sea cucumber illegally, during a special search operation conducted off Vankalai. The Navy also seized 234 illegally harvested sea cucumbers and a dinghy used for this illegal act.

The individuals apprehended during these separate operations were identified as residents of Kalpitiya and Vankalai, from 33 to 54 years of age. The suspects along with their equipment and sea cucumber were handed over to the Fisheries Inspectors of Kalpitiya and Mannar for onward legal action.