Navy apprehended 101 fishermen along with 14 dinghies for engaging in illegal fishing practices in the seas off Trincomalee harbour during the past two weeks.
During the apprehension, 13 unauthorized (Surukku/Laila) fishing nets and 6,240kg of illegally caught fish were also taken into naval custody. It has been announced that these types of nets used in illegal fishing methods have already been banned. Further, according to the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act No. 2 of 1996 and the letter from the Director General of the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, DFAR / FM / AD / 13/496 dated 22.01.2017, engaging in fishing activities in the waters, within 7 nautical miles, in Trincomalee has completely been banned.
The apprehended persons and their fishing gear were handed over to the Assistant Director of Fisheries of Trincomalee through the Department of Coast Guard for onward legal action.
Sri Lanka Navy with the assistance of the Department of Coast Guard has intensified the apprehension of illegal fishers as the use of Surukku Nets has been on the rise in the eastern seas in recent times. Moreover, the Coast Guard urges the fisher folk not to engage in illegal fishing activities in a bid to prevent depletion of fish stocks to alarming levels.