The Navy apprehended two persons for slaughtering sea turtles, during a search operation conducted in Arippu of Silawathura in Mannar on Monday (22). Along with the suspects, the Navy also found two live sea turtles and some turtle flesh in their possession.
Sri Lanka Navy’s Coastal Observation Points established in beach areas around the island to keep a watchful eye on illegal activities taking place in those areas, with a view to preventing them for the protection of marine resources.
During a search operation conducted by Coastal Observation Point Arippu of SLNS Therapuththa in the Northwestern Naval Command the suspects were apprehended, whilst they were slaughtering four sea turtles in the Arippu beach area. Accordingly, the two suspects were nabbed with about 206kg of turtle flesh and two live sea turtles. A small traditional craft suspected to have been used to bring turtles ashore was also held in this search operation.
The suspects have been identified as residents of Arippu, aged 26 and 37. The suspects together with two live sea turtles, about 206kg of turtle flesh and craft were handed over to the Office of Department of Wildlife Conservation in Mannar for investigation.
In order to protect sea turtles, which are an endangered animal species, the Sri Lanka Navy has launched a turtle conservation project aiming to release turtle hatchlings born from eggs preserved under this project.