Navy apprehends 16 persons for illegal harvesting of sea cucumber in Mannar seas

The Sri Lanka Navy apprehended 16 persons who engaged in illegal night diving, during a search operation conducted off Iranativu-south, Mannar in the wee hours of 26th March 2024. The search operation also led to the seizure of 05 dinghies, diving gear and 3178 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 Cedric Boats off Iranativu-south. During the operation, RABS personnel intercepted 05 suspicious dinghies and apprehended 16 persons who engaged in night diving without valid license. Along with those suspects, the Navy also held the 05 dinghies, diving gear and 3178 sea cucumbers.

The suspects held in this operation were identified as residents of Mulankavil, Weeravil and Nachchikuda areas, from 25 to 52 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.