Central fish market to move to Peliyagoda
A state-of-the-art Central Fish Market Complex is to be built in
Peliyagoda, bordering Colombo, at a cost of $10 million, complying to
international standards which will allow fish purchased, to be exported.
"The entire fish trade will be revolutionised. Traders will have to
wear head gear and clean clothing and no dumping of fish on the floor
will be allowed," A. Hettiarachchi, Director General for Development of
the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources said.
Banks will be housed in the building to finance trade, cold storage
rooms and an outlet for freely available ice will be part of the scheme.
Fish will have to be kept stored in ice. A restaurant in the complex
will be an added feature.
Facilities will be available for trading in dry fish as well. Tanks
for storing live ornamental fish is also part of the scheme.
At present, fish for export had to be purchased at sites approved for
landing fish, complying to European Union standard specifications, which
is limited to a few fisheries harbours. he tender for construction is
expected to be floated in January 2007.
The complex will have the capacity to handle 1,000 tonnes of fish per
day, in contrast to 250 tonnes per day, traded currently at the St.
John's Fish Market, Colombo 11.
The Urban Development Authority has agreed to release 10 perches of
land which borders the A3 Colombo-Puttalam Highway. There will also be
access to A1, Colombo-Kandy Highway through Dutugemunu Road, Peliyagoda.
The new complex will also have spacious parking space for fish- haulage
vehicles and for customers.
The Fisheries Ministry has requested the Asian Development Bank to
provide part of the funds, Hettiarachchi said.
The St. John's Fish Market is well over 100 years old. The present
building was refurbished and opened in 1983. The building is congested
with hardly any room for expansion.
The floor is not designed for trolleys fitted with razor wheels that
carry heavy loads, but traders continue to use such trolleys regardless.
The floors get damaged leaving massive holes which do not allow water to
flow out, leaving the complex exposed to contamination.
The fish coming from it could be considered unsafe for human
consumption, Hettiarachchi said. The water provided to the fish market
is insufficient for current needs, toilets remain messy and the drainage
system is out of order.