Navy apprehends 19 persons for illegal harvesting of sea cucumber in Mannar seas

The Sri Lanka Navy in the wee hours of 06th March 2024 apprehended 19 persons who engaged in illegal night diving, during a search operation conducted in the Iranativu south seas of Mannar. The search operation also led to the seizure of 02 dinghies, diving gear and 1339 sea cucumbers.

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 continuation of these efforts, a team of Rapid Action Boat Squadron (RABS) personnel attached to SLNS Buwaneka in the North Central Naval Command mounted this operation, deploying naval craft in Iranativu south seas. During the operation, RABS personnel intercepted 02 suspicious dinghies and apprehended 19 persons who engaged in night diving without valid license. Along with those suspects, the Navy also held the 02 dinghies, diving gear and 1339 sea cucumbers.

The suspects held in this operation were identified as residents of Nagapattuwan, Pallavarayankattu, Nachchikuda, Jaffna, Kumulamunei, Sivapuram and Nochchimunei from 24 to 62 years of age. Those accused, together with the seized dinghies, diving equipment and sea cucumber were handed over to the Assistant Directorate of Fisheries - Kilinochchi for onward legal action.