Govt. to boost Southern fisheries sector

The Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Ministry will embark on constructing massive infrastructure development projects in the Southern province.

As an initial project the Fisheries harbour in Devinuwara, Matara, will be developed with required facilities and the entire project will cost Rs. 250 million, the Ministry said.

Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Minister Felix Perera told The Island Financial Review that the future treasury of Sri Lanka would be in the hands of fishermen because more fishing resources would bring a substantial amount of money to enrich the economy.

He said the development activities involved in the Devinuwara fisheries harbour development would include construction of a 100 metre long jetty, 100 metre long breakwater, 80 metre long sand barrier and 65 metre long coastal entrance. In the wake of tsunami the harbour was badly devastated and a number of fishermen lost their livelihood.

The Minister pointed out that as about 10 to 12 fisheries harbours had been destroyed by tsunami and all destroyed harbours had been reconstructed and rehabilitated. During the war fishermen from the Southern province could not go to the Northern province and speed limit of fishing trawlers was horse power 15. At the same time fishermen could catch fish between 6am to 6pm and some were even abducted by the LTTE.

He said the Fisheries Ministry had imported state-of-the-art surveillance machinery to in inform fishermen in advance about tsunami or any other unfavourable weather conditions. The opportunity to have modern refrigeration would also be made available to protect fish and a fair price for the fish would be made available in due course.

Referring to inland fishing, Minister Perera said the inland fish production had reached 40,000 metric tons at the moment. The sea tigers had launched attacks on fishermen and navy and as a result fishing was a risky task. The government had taken action to construct 100 anchorages in the Southern coast.

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