Fish production will increase to 685,000 MT in coming years – Rajitha


By Don Asoka Wijewarden

Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Rajitha Senaratne emphasized that the Fisheries Industry achieved 24 per cent progress in 2010, but his goal would be to achieve 50 per cent steady progress by the end of 2013.

The activities of the Fisheries Industry influenced the people to upgrade their eating patterns which directly improves the health of the people. By making good quality fresh fish available. There by protein deficiency could be overcome, he said at the Opening Ceremony of a Housing Scheme constructed for Fishermen in Trincomalee Andakulam at a cost Rs.30.4 million recently.

Minister Senaratne said that currently the annual fish production was 3,39,000 metric tons in Sri Lanka and the aim of the Ministry would be to increase that amount to 6,85.000 metric tons in the coming years. When he assumed duties Sri Lanka’s fish consumption ratio was 72 per cent, but now it had risen to 83 per cent.

He pointed out due to that by the intervention of President Mahinda Rajapaksa the fisheries industry is exempted from paying income tax. Fishing Licences were given free of charge. The Ministry was provided with Rs.300 million to promote tourism in collaboration with the Tourism Ministry. The Ministry would focus on the profitable exploitation of North and East coastal areas because those areas were abundant with different varieties of fish.

Minister Senaratne added that the inland’s fish industry had also made a steady progress in recent times. "In 2010 when we assumed duties our goal was to produce 4,01,000 metric tons of inland fish per year, but action had been taken to increase the amount to 3,84,000 metric tons per year within the next 6 months. The successful implementation of the plan would achieve 94 per cent development in inland fish production. By 2013 out of 12,000 inland reservoirs, we will develop inland fishing in 8,000 reservoirs.

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