Rajitha ready to count fish in the ocean

by Maheesha Mudugamuwa

For the first time in its history, Sri Lanka was ready to count the fish population in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 51,700 sq. km, which is over seven times larger than the geological extent of the country, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said on Wednesday.

The Minister said that Sri Lanka couldn’t manage its marine resources properly as it was not aware of the number of fish in the ocean around the country.

Dr. Senaratne also said that the country had not done proper research regarding sea population.

But, the National Aquatic Resources Research Agency (NARA) in collaboration with World Food Organisation (WFO) had done a research in the 40 sq. km. of the international sea area in the East, he said.

Minister said it was believed Sri Lanka’s territorial waters had about 30 million MT fish.

At the end of last year the country had harvested 515,780 MT of fish and increased the per capita fish consumption to 20g from 22g in 2009, the minister said.

Fisheries ministry had already taken steps to bring about rapid sustainable development of the fisheries sector under the ministry’s two year development Policy framework, he added.

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