Navy apprehends 07 suspects in Mannar seas for possession of Water Gel sticks

The Sri Lanka Navy apprehended 07 individuals who were preparing to engage in fishing with explosive, during a search operation conducted off Vankalai, Mannar on 08th May 2023. The search operation also led to the seizure of 10 Water Gel sticks - a type of commercial explosive, 18 non-electric detonators, diving gear and 01 dinghy.

The use of explosives for fishing poses a serious threat to marine life and can cause long-lasting damage to the marine ecosystems. Thus, the Sri Lanka Navy has been conducting regular operations to crack down on explosive fishing and other illegal fishing practices in the country's waters.

The special operation was conducted by SLNS Pussadewa in the North Central Naval Command in the sea area of Vankalai on 08th May. During the operation, naval personnel intercepted a suspicious dinghy in the sea area and nabbed 07 persons who were preparing to engage in blast – fishing. In addition the Navy also took into custody 10 Water Gel sticks, 18 non-electric detonators, a 2.5 foot - long safety fuse, diving gear and the dinghy.

The apprehended suspects are residents of Mannar area, from 28 to 43 years of age. The suspects along with the dinghy and explosive items were handed over to the Vankalai Police for onward legal action.