Rs. 300m to develop inland fisheries and aquaculture
Minister Senaratne distributes fishing equipment to a fisherman.
The Fisheries Ministry has allocated Rs. 300 million to develop
inland fish and aquaculture industry in the Northern and Eastern
province, the Ministry sources said. The fisheries industry recorded the
biggest income of Rs. 83,928 million last year, as a result of rapid
development programs implemented in the fisheries sector including the
North and East after the elimination of LTTE, the Ministry said.
The fisheries industry will play a significant role in reducing
malnutrition in this country. The elimination of the LTTE has helped the
Government to achieve its goal, as the North and East consists of two
thirds of Sri Lankan waters, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources development
Ministry sources said.
Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne during his recent visit to Japan has
held several rounds of talks with Japanese authorities and multi
national trade giant "Tuna King" Kiyoshi Kimura in Tokyo with a view
obtaining assistance from the Japanese Government to expedite
development projects in the fisheries sector.
The Fisheries Ministry also plans to purchase 90 fishing vessels for
the Ceylon Fisheries Corporation to increase the fish harvest.
The Government is developing all fisheries harbours, jetties and
anchorages along the coastal belt under the Mahinda Chinthanaya national
Hikkaduwa, Beruwela, Paranawella, and Mirissa fisheries harbours in
the Southern coastal belt are being developed to international standards
to accommodate international vessels, an officer of the Fisheries
The Government has implemented a 10-year development program to
develop the fresh water fisheries industry.
A view of the developed Valachchenai Fisheries harbour.
The Iranamadu reservoir will also be developed to accommodate more
fingerlings to increase the fish harvest.
In addition, the National Aquaculture Development Authority (NAQDA)
has taken steps to set up a fish breeding centre in a 30-acre land area.
Meanwhile NAQDA has released over 150,000 fingerlings to the
Udayarkadduwa reservoir, in the Puthukudirippu Divisional Secretariat
Minister Senaratne also distributed canoes, nets and other fishing
equipments worth Rs. 2.2 million to fresh water fishermen in the
district during his visit to Mullaitivu.
The Fisheries Ministry has released 3.5 million fingerlings to the
reservoirs in the Northern and Eastern provinces in 2010 with the
support of NAQDA.
Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Rajitha
Senaratne distributed 20 fibreglass canoes, 300 cartoons of fishing nets
and six computers worth Rs. 3 million to fresh water fishermen in the
The Fisheries Ministry has taken steps to set up Namal Oya community
centre at a cost Rs. 2.4 million.
Minister Senaratne in discussions with fisheries sector
Minister Dr. Senaratne presents a fishing net to a fisherman,
Deputy Minister Susantha Punchinilame looks on.
Before the emergence of the LTTE, fishermen in the North and East
contributed 43 percent out of the total fish harvest of this country but
it decreased to 8 percent during the period the region was in the
clutches of the LTTE.
Since 2009, after the elimination of LTTE, the fish harvest in both
provinces started to increase gradually as a result of promotions
carried out by the Fisheries Ministry. Now the fishermen in the North
East contribute to 16 percent, the Fisheries Ministry said.
The Fisheries Ministry hopes to increase the fish harvest from North
and East to 23 percent by the end of next year, a responsible officer of
the Fisheries Ministry said.
Meanwhile the Ministry also plans to increase the fish export to
38,000 metric tonnes by the end of next year.
The Fisheries Ministry has allocated Rs. 855 million to develop the
off shore fisheries industry in the North and East.
The development projects being implemented in the fisheries sector
will place the North and East to the previous state that prevailed
before the emergence of the LTTE very soon.
The Fisheries Ministry hopes to double the fish harvest from the
North and East in a couple of years. Other industries depending on the
fisheries industry have also been developed the Fisheries Ministry said.
The Jaffna District Fisheries Department office which was set up on a
concept by Fisheries Minister Rajitha Senaratne is working round the
clock to improve the industry in the region including the well-being of
Meanwhile, the Fisheries Ministry has distributed boats, canoes, fish
crates, bicycles and other needed equipment among the fisheries
community in the North at a cost of Rs. 18 million, the Ministry sources
In addition, Minister Dr. Senaratne granted loan assistance to 200
fishermen in the North, each Rs. 100,000.
Re-construction work of the Gurunagar Jetty is progressing, the
Fisheries Ministry said.
Minister Senarathne has also instructed the relevant authorities to
give priority to qualified unemployed youth in the region when there are
vacancies in the fisheries sector.
The Fisheries Ministry has spent around Rs. 50 million with
assistance from the Post-Tsunami Coastal Rehabilitation and The Resource
Management Program under the purview of the International Funds for
Agricultural Development (IFAD), to provide fishery vessels, equipment
and loans for the fishery community in Mullaitivu, Vavuniya and
The Fish Landing Centre Development project governed by the Food and
Agricultural Organization (FAO) spent Rs. 45.3 million to develop fish
landing centres in the Mayladi, Kallapadu and Silavatturai and landing
centres in Mullaitivu.
Rupees 52.8 million was spent to develop 11 fish landing centres in
Mannar, Batticaloa and Ampara districts and to improve the
infrastructure facilities in those areas.
The Fisheries Ministry spent nearly Rs. 30 million to develop five
fish landing centres in the Trincomalee district and to distribute motor
cycles, computers and other modern technical equipment to the fishery
offices in the Jaffna, Mannar, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Kalmunai,
Batticaloa, Ampara and Trincomalee districts.
The Post-tsunami Coastal Rehabilitation and Resource Management
Program has allocated Rs. 94 million to build a wholesale fish trade
centre in the Trincomalee district. Construction is underway on the
instructions of Deputy Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development
Minister Susantha Punchinilame.
Besides the Fisheries Ministry has spent nearly Rs. 37 million with
the assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to develop the
Katthankudi fish landing centre and the District Fishery Office in the
A large number of fisheries sector development projects being
implemented by the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry
countrywide will be completed by the end of next year, an officer
attached to the Fisheries Ministry said.
Meanwhile the Fisheries Ministry is paying close attention to improve
the living standards of fishermen while protecting their privileges,
according to Minister Dr. Senaratne.
The Fisheries Ministry plans to introduce a separate pension scheme
for fishermen, a spokesman of the Fisheries Ministry said.
After retirement a fisherman can draw a monthly pension of Rs. 10,000
until he attains the age of 78, the spokesman said.
The Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry, Department
of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, National Aquaculture Development
Authority of Sri Lanka and the Bank of Ceylon has signed the Memorandum
of Understanding (MOU) for the pension scheme.
Around 169,460 fishermen throughout the country will benefit with the
implementation of this new pension scheme, according to Minister Rajitha
A fisherman can enter this scheme at the age of 18 and should
contribute until he attains 55.
Every month Rs. 300 should be paid until retirement. In case the
fisherman dies the scheme will be transferred to his wife until the age
Details of fishermen's pension scheme can be obtained from any branch
of the Bank of Ceylon, Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and
District offices of the National Aquaculture Development Authority of
The Fisheries Ministry has introduced a special insurance scheme from
Rs. 100,000 to Rs. 300,000 for fishermen.
A fisherman will be entitled to the benefits of this insurance scheme
by paying a monthly premium of Rs. 5,000, Fisheries Ministry sources
The Fisheries Ministry plans to launch a housing program for
fishermen by 2014.
Plans are afoot to provide boats, fishing nets and other fisheries
equipment on a soft loan basis, the Fisheries Ministry said.
The marine fisheries sector including coastal and deep sea
contributed to around 86 percent in 2009, Fisheries Ministry sources
The coastal fisheries industry contributed to more than half of the
total fish production, according to Fisheries Ministry sources.
The sources added that deep sea fishing contributed to 33 percent in
the same year while fresh water fisheries industry to 14 percent.
The fisheries industry recorded an annual growth of 1.1 percent
between 2005 to 2009.
The highest fish harvest of 340,000 metric tonnes was recorded in
2009. Following the tsunami catastrophe, fish sales dropped to 163,000
metric tonnes in 2005, the Fisheries Ministry said.