TAMIL NADU

Corals, shells seized at Tuticorin

R Vimal Kumar

TUTICORIN: The Forest Department on Saturday seized large quantities of live coral and molluscans from a godown at Threspuram, a fishing hamlet in the heart of the town.

Forest Officials said Thommai (31), owner of the godown, was arrested. Hunting, possession, and sale of corals as well as molluscans were banned under the Wildlife ( Protection) Act, 1972, amended 2002.

Officials sources told The Hindu that flower shaped, deer- horned, round sized and cup corals totalling 2,326, and molluscans such as king shells, trapezoid shells and spider shells, numbering 244, were seized.

The interrogation showed that Thomai he was getting the corals as well as molluscans from local fishermen, who hunted them in the Gulf of Mannar region.

The corals and shells were bleached in a chemical process and sun-dried.The processed corals and shells were sent to traders in Chennai, who in turn, exported them.

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