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Sri Lanka must focus more on inland fisheries – Dr. Subramanian

Sri Lanka should focus more on inland fisheries because the future of marine fish is very much limited, says internationally renowned fisheries expert Dr. Siva Subramaniyam.

Speaking at a seminar yesterday on the topic ‘Fisheries Sector in Sri Lanka’, organised by the Practical Action at the Press Institute in Colombo, he said that nobody knows the exact quantity of marine fish catch in Sri Lanka as the statistics may be cooked up and there would be a difference of 10 to 20 per cent.

Annually Sri Lanka imports 70,000 tons of fish of which 60,000 tons come from the Maldives.

"We import as much as we catch. We should have a better management methods to succeed, as marine fish are limited to the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)," he added.

He said of the freshwater fish industry, 95 per cent production comes through Tilapia, a species introduced from South Africa which could thrive in any condition, but not a delicacy among many.

Government should take the initiative to introduce more varieties especially the endemic fish to further strengthen the inland fish industry through better yields.

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