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Sri Lanka to probe illegal shark fishing

The Sri Lankan government will launch urgent investigations into claims of illegal shark fishing in Trincomalee.

A local organisation, the Pearl Protectors, said in a declaration 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.

Tourism officials said that Nilaveli and Pigeon Island in Trincomalee were a few of the places where tourists could swim with sharks as well as 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.

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