Sri Lanka seen needing skills to exploit ocean resources

Dec 05, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka must develop research institutes and skilled manpower to exploit ocean resources being discovered around the island, a senior academic said. Oil and gas deposits are not confined only to the Mannar or Cauvery basins with new surveys indicating their presence elsewhere around the island as well, said Dhammika Tantrigoda, senior professor of geophysics of the university of Sri Jayewardenepura.

Sri Lanka must think of introducing academic disciplines into the university curriculum if it is really interested in harnessing non-living ocean resources in the seas surrounding the island, he told the annual sessions of the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science.

This year’s sessions are devoted to understanding, harnessing, and conserving the ocean around Sri Lanka.

“We must improve our understanding of the geology and geophysics of the continental shelf,” Tantrigoda said.

He said there has been some success in improving education on marine living resources but not enough effort in doing so regarding non-living resources, mainly oil and gas.

“Geology as a subject is almost completely neglected