ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, March 11 , 2007
Vol. 41 - No 41

No prawns in Batticaloa lagoon?

By N.Dilshath Banu in Batticaloa

The fisheries industry on the east coast has been severely hampered several times in the past. Earlier the tsunami destroyed the industry. Presently the deteriorating security situation is hampering the day-to-day lives of persons engaged in fisheries.

Only few fish in the net those

Thangavel, a 23-year-old fishermen from Navallady on the east coast –the village was completely destroyed during the tsunami- said though there were restraints on fishermen. Restrictions had been imposed on the use of particular types of fishing craft.
As a result of the security situation fishermen are not permitted to use boats with 15 horse power engines he said. The Fisheries Department had promised they would replace those engines with 10 horse power engines which are very slow. He added that there was a fear that the use of this type of engine could result in boats toppling while passing the estuaries. This in turn posed a danger to human life he said.


Thirty-eight-year-old S. Jeyashankar, claimed life after the tsunami had become more difficult. He said people involved in the fishing industry needed to be able to go deep sea fishing for the industry to become viable. He warned their inability to make a decent catch would result in a rise in the cost of fish in Colombo.

He claimed that since the tsunami some east coast fishermen had not over come their fear of the ocean. He added that some of the craft they received from NGOs were unseaworthy and could not be used during adverse weather conditionss.

32-year-old Ravichandran said one of the worst effects of the tsunami was that the entire geographical and the biological structure of the lagoon had been badly affected.

Nirmalan, another lagoon fisherman said earlier prawns were cultured in the lagoon but since the tsunami the stagnation of debris had undermined the conditions for the growth of prawns and their fertilization. He feared prawn culture in the lagoon would become extinct in the future if remedial measures were not taken.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.