Sri Lanka has become a hub for the trading of marine species smuggled from neighboring countries due to lack of regulations pertaining to the exportation or regulation of marine animals including sea horses and sea cucumbers, Senior environmentalist Jagath Gunawardena said
Senior environmentalist and environmental lawyer Jagath Gunawardena speaking to Daily Mirror Online said that consignments of dried sea cucumbers and sea horses seized in Tamil Nadu are directly linked to the marine species export trade carried out in Sri Lanka. “India has imposed strict regulations pertaining to the exportation of seahorses and sea cucumbers. Hence, these animals are smuggled into Sri Lanka to be exported into other countries,” he pointed out.
The numbers of sea cucumbers and sea horses in local waters are also dwindling sharply as a result of the exhaustive fishing of these animals carried out because of the export trade. Mr. Gunawardena pointed out that the ambiguous and contradictory state of regulations has provided leeway for the exploitation of these animals in Sri Lanka.
Over 100 kgs of dried sea cucumbers were seized by Tamil Nadu officials today while some three kgs of dried sea horses were also seized by officials in Tamil Nadu last week. Both consignments were intended to be smuggled to Sri Lanka. (Lakna Paranamanna)