Oct 11, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Minister of Fisheries Mahinda Amaraweera has requested the Sri Lanka Navy and Coast Guard to take legal actions against the fishermen who hunt dolphins and whales in the southern seas.
The Ministry has received reports that some fishermen are engaged in dolphin and whale hunting in the vicinity of Mirissa Fishery Harbor where there is a huge population of dolphins and whales. Reportedly, these fishermen sell the meat of the hunted dolphins and whales in Matara area.
The Minister has also asked the Inspector General of Police also to arrest the people selling the dolphin and whale flesh.
Dolphins and whales are among the species prohibited of hunting under the international law. Dolphins are known to be associated with Tuna shoals and in the instances of Tuna fishing deploying banned Laila and Surukku nets dolphins too tend to get caught. Since dolphins are a sensitive species of fish, they face death immediately after getting caught in the net. Bodies of such dolphins are said to be thrown to the sea after splitting their belly and filling it with stones. As a preventive measure the Ministry has already banned Laila and Surukku nets.
The Minister says it is a prime duty of the nation to safe guard Dolphins and Whales which has become a significant tourist attraction of Sri Lanka as such illegal actions of certain mercenary fishermen affect adversely on the tourism industry of the country.
"Therefore permits of such fishermen shall be terminated and the needful instructions in this regard have been given to the Director General of the Fisheries Department," said the Minister.