Sri Lanka fishermen will be safer with vessel monitoring system: minister

June 14, 2014 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is expecting to have a vessel monitoring system operating within five months which will provide up to date weather information to fishermen and reduce loss of life, fisheries minister Rajitha Senaratne said. But warnings will be disseminated through the ‘Sayura’ a fishermen’s radio channel and other media, Senaratne said.

Minister Senaratne said families of dead fishermen will be given 100,000 rupees each.

Eighty four boats were fully damaged or missing and 76 were partially lost.

Last week 51 fishermen were lost at sea and eight are still missing, following severe monsoonal winds. There is a government inquiry on why they were not warned by the met office in time.

The vessel monitoring system from Norway and Denmark based Visma Sirius, will provide weather forecasts, up to 48 hours before a major weather event, minister Senaratne said.

“This is the only way to save the fishermen,” he told reporters Friday.

The transceivers to be fitted to boats are expected to cost around 650,000 rupees, minister Senaratne told reporters Friday.

Sri Lanka has about 4,200 multi-day fishing vessels which are expected to have them on board. Owners of small boats, which are most susceptibl