Aug 16, Colombo: Sri Lanka Navy has arrested nine people yesterday for causing destruction to fish breeding grounds and illegal fishing in the Northern seas.
Naval personnel deployed onboard Inshore Patrol Craft attached to the Northern Naval Command with the assistance of the Coastguard took into custody nine persons along with four Fiber Glass Dinghies (FGDs) for causing destruction to fish breeding grounds and illegal fishing in the seas north-east of Point Pedro Tuesday (15 August 2017), Navy Media Unit said.
The Navy and the Coastguard sprang into action upon observation that the suspects, under the guise of traditional fishing, were trapping cuttlefish into illegally made enclosures, encircling a wide sea area using fishing nets, sand bags and twigs.
The unscrupulous method causes enormous destruction to fish breeding grounds and leads to the depletion of fish stocks substantially, the Navy says.
"If allowed to continue, the wanton destruction made with the sole intention of making a fast buck with scant regard for the repercussions would adversely affect the livelihoods of law-abiding fishermen and deal a deadly blow to the fishing industry in the area, which is fast improving as a result of the constant vigilance maintained by the Navy in collaboration with the Coastguard," Navy statement said.
The arrested persons along with the FGDs were handed over to the Assistant Fisheries Director of Jaffna for legal action as their illegal mode of fishing was in clear contravention of the fishing methods approved under the Fisheries Act.
Meanwhile, the Rapid Action Boat Squadron (RABS) personnel attached to the Eastern Naval Command also arrested 13 poeple engaged in illegal fishing in the seas off Kokilai and Kokkuthuduwai on Tuesday.
Along with the fishermen, 100 kilo grams of fish, three Fiber Glass Dinghies and fishing gear used for the illegal fishing were also taken into naval custody.
The arrested persons along with the apprehended items were handed over to the Assistant Fisheries Director of Mullaitivu for legal action.