Court jails 15 fishermen over dolphin killing

The Kalpitiya Magistrate has remanded 15 fishermen for using ‘Laila’ nets to catch fish, which resulted in the death of nearly 50 dolphins.

According to the police media unit, six boats used for fishing with illegal nets were also seized by the police.

Fishermen in the Kalpitiya Resort had found over 50 dolphins killed this week and the authorities believed that illegal fishing methods may have resulted in the mass killing.

The army, navy and police had launched a joint investigation into the incident.

“We have arrested four suspects since Wednesday and more suspects are going to be taken into custody by next week,” Chairman of the National Aquatic Resource Research and Development Agency, Sayuru Samarasundara had told Xinhua yesterday.

Kalpitiya is a popular tourist destination frequented mostly for dolphin and whale watching and officials are now considering implementing tough measure against the use of illegal fishing methods.

“Some fishermen in the area have been using a net called the ‘ Laila Net’ which is a banned fishing gear. The use of this net has resulted in the death of the dolphins,” Samarasundara said.

Kalpitiya is home to natural habitats of diverse fauna and flora. Fishing is a major source of incomes for most people in Sri Lanka who live along the coastal areas of the island.

However the use of illegal fishing methods has seen the destruction of marine life along Sri Lanka’s coastal belt. (Colombo Gazette)