SL to probe illegal shark fishing


Colombo, Oct 14 : The Sri Lankan government will launch immediate investigations into allegations of illegal shark fishing in Trincomalee. A local organisation, the Pearl Protectors, said in a statement on Twitter said while Trincomalee was once a marine biodiversity hotspot, it had now come under threat as fishermen were increasingly killing local shark species, reports Xinhua news agency. Tourism officials said that Nilaveli and Pigeon Island in Trincomalee were some of the only places where tourists could swim with sharks and enjoy a boat ride to see the marine species. State Minister of Fisheries Kanchana Wijesekera said on Wednesday that officers of the fisheries department will visit Trincomalee and investigate the claims. "Once the initial investigations are concluded legal action will be taken against those responsible," Wijesekera said. Located on the northeast coast of Sri Lanka, around 237 km from Colombo, Trincomalee is popular for wildlife lovers as it is one of the best natural harbours in the region. It is one of the country's best hotspots to see blue whales in their natural environment, and a smaller number of sperm whales and whale sharks can also be spotted during some months. /IANS


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