This directive was issued when the case was taken up in court on Friday where police had filed charges against a group of small scale fishermen who had staged a protest against the use of cache nets. The fishermen claim that they were attacked by a group, but instead of taking action against them the Police had filed charges against the small scale fishermen instead.
The Puttalam National Fisheries collective and small scale fishermen have been protesting against the use of large scale use of Cache nets which is causing grave environmental damage and destruction of our fishing resources.
In the Puttalam district 53 licences have been issued permitting fishing using Cache nets, but under the stipulation that these nets can only be used 10 nautical miles from shore.
However, these fishing nets are constantly being used in shallow waters near coral reefs and in order to subdue the large fish harvest these unscrupulous fishermen also use dynamite.
It is ironic though that despite the large scale destruction that is caused to our marine resources, the fisheries authorities were giving evidence in court in favour of these wrongdoers.