Sri Lanka fishery sector needs new techniques, better resource data: think tank

Dr. Ganeshan Wignaraja and Dr. Dinusha Panditaratne

Nov 14, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s fishery sector needs more data on resource stocks, especially in war-torn Northern areas, new techniques and improvements in post harvest handling, a think tank has said. In 2008 fish production in Sri Lanka’s eastern province had increased to 70,520 metric tonnes from 39,760 tonnes a year earlier. In 2009 production had grown to 77,310 tonnes.

In the Northern Province where fighting ended only in May 2009, fish production rose to 21,880 metric tonnes from 14,4,80 tonnes in 2008.

IPS said fishery resources in the north would have increased due to under-utilization during the conflict period.

Sri Lanka’s fisheries ministry says there is extensive poaching by Indian trawlers after nightfall in northern waters.

“Offshore fishing in the Northern Province had not been practiced for the last two decades,” IPS said.

“Both offshore and coastal fishing are seasonal. Therefore migrating to other part of the country has been the practice of many fishermen.

“However due to the conflict sitation that prevailed in the North and East areas, such seasonal migrating activities have been limited to only certain areas.

“Since there are no such limitation