Golden handshake for excess workers at Fisheries Corporation

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

The government is planning to restructure the Ceylon Fisheries Corporation (CFC) by removing its excess workers through a compensation scheme to improve its operational efficiency and financial management.

Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Mahinda Amaraweera yesterday told the media at the ministry auditorium that it should find a durable solution to control fish prices.

The restructuring of the CFC involved removing its excess workers by paying them compensation, Minister Amaraweera said.

He said that the country’s fish prices were high at present mainly because it had to stop buying fish from foreign vessels due to the European Union (EU) regulations.

Since the Chinese fishing trawlers had been banned from deep sea fishing using the Sri Lankan flag, the fish quota obtained through them had also stopped.

The CFC had earlier earned an additional profit of around Rs. 35 million through foreign fishing vessels but since it had to stop the process that income had dried up.

The CFC was established in 1964 under the State Industrial Corporations Act. No.49 of 1957 and commenced its commercial operations in 1965.

Minister Amaraweera however noted that the government was concentrating on getting the EU ban lifted on Sri Lankan fish exports. The Ministry had already taken steps to comply with EU regulations. Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) was being installed in multi-day boats and it was expected to cover about 400 vessels by the end of July and the project would be completed after fitting 1,500 boats by September this year, Amaraweera noted. All illegal fishing methods would also be banned, he added.

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