In a proactive effort to safeguard the marine biodiversity and preserve the sustainability of fish populations, the Sri Lanka Navy has intensified its regular operations in the coastal and sea areas surrounding the island. Several individuals have been apprehended and arrested over charges of engaging in illegal fishing practices, which pose a significant threat to the delicate marine ecosystem.

The Sri Lanka Navy’s operations aim to prevent illegal fishing practices that not only endanger marine life but also undermine legitimate fishing industries, causing economic losses to law-abiding fishermen. Such activities have been known to employ light coarse fishing methods and the use of unauthorized nets, leading to a rapid decline in fish stocks and irreparable damage to the marine environment.

Special operations conducted by the Navy off Kadaikadu and Veththalakerni in Jaffna on 21st and 22nd July 2023, led to the apprehension of 16 persons who were engaging in illegal fishing activities. During these operations, the Navy also held 11 dinghies and unauthorized fishing gear used for these illegal acts.

The Navy carries out regular operations in the coastal and sea areas around the island, with a view to prevent illegal fishing practices which threaten the sustainability of fish populations, undermine legitimate fishing industries, and damage marine ecosystems.

Accordingly, the Naval Detachments of Chundikulam, Chalei, Mamunai, Veththalakerni and Nagar Kovil belonging to the Naval Deployment Veththalakerni in the Northern Naval Command made these apprehensions off Kadaikadu and Veththalakerni. Accordingly, the Navy nabbed 16 individuals on charges of light coarse fishing and using unauthorized nets. The operations also led to the seizure of 11 dinghies and unauthorized fishing gear used by the individuals.

The persons held in these operations were identified as residents of Mulliyan and Chilaw, from 24 to 47 years of age. The apprehended persons together with their belongings were handed over to the Office of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Department in Jaffna for onward legal action.

The Navy urges all citizens and fishing communities to cooperate and adhere to the fishing regulations put in place to maintain the ecological integrity of Sri Lanka’s waters. Sustainable fishing practices are crucial for the long-term well-being of both marine ecosystems and the fishing industry.