Navy apprehends 22 persons for engaging in illegal fishing in eastern waters

The Sri Lanka Navy apprehended 22 persons for engaging in light-coarse fishing and night diving, during search operations conducted off Nayaru, Mullaitivu and around Kinniya Bridge on 27th April 2023. Along with the suspects, 08 dinghies, diving gear and fishing equipment were also taken into naval custody.

To safeguard the marine ecosystem from the negative impacts of unlawful fishing practices, the Navy is carrying out continuous operations in the coastal areas surrounding the island. Accordingly, a group of Rapid Action Boat Squadron personnel of Naval Detachment Nayaru, belonging to SLNS Gotabaya, in the Eastern Naval Command carried out this operation in coordination with the Office of Fisheries Inspector in Mullaitivu. The operation led to the apprehension of 08 persons, with 03 dinghies and unauthorized fishing gear, for practicing light-coarse fishing.

Meanwhile, SLNS Gokanna and SLNS Parakumba in the Eastern Naval Command with the Office of Assistant Directorate of Fisheries Trincomalee carried out a search operation in the lagoon surrounding the Kinniya Bridge and held 14 persons for engaging in night diving. The Navy also seized 05 dinghies and diving gear used for this illegal act.

The suspects held in these operations are residents of Negombo, Mullaitivu, Kinniya and China Bay, from 29 to 56 years of age. The apprehended individuals together with their belongings were handed over to the Assistant Directorate of Fisheries in Mullaitivu and Trincomalee for onward legal action.