Exploiting fisheries and aquatic resources:
Govt targets self-sufficiency, increase in exports
The new fisheries development policy plans to exploit the country’s
fisheries and aquatic resources in a sustainable manner while conserving
the coastal environment.
The government is targeting self-sufficiency in the national fish
supply and a significant increase in exports.
Plans for ornamental
youth organisations at Divisional Secretariat level will
become young export builders .
* The country plans to be a
pioneer in the tropical ornamental fish and aquatic plants
trade in the world.
* Ginigathhena and
Rambadagalla ornamental fish breeding and training centres
will be developed to breed, rear and export ornamental fish
as lovable pets.
Sri Lanka has considerable fisheries potential in coastal,
offshore/deep sea, inland fisheries and aquaculture. The fisheries
sector contributes around 1.2 percent to the GDP and employs over
650,000 people directly and indirectly.
Due to the many challenges which includes low usage of technology,
inadequate investment by the private sector, high post harvest losses,
poor market chain, lack of transport facilities, non availability of
data and shortage of deep sea fishing boats have hampered the growth in
Harvesting, collection and value addition of new items for export
such as jelly fish sea weed and sea bass is also planned.
Among the policy directions to increase fish production and export
are increasing of the total marine fish production by 13.5 percent per
annum and the inland fish production by 11 percent. As a result
1,100,000 mt of marine fish and 130,000 mt of inland fish will be
released for domestic consumption and exports by 2020.
The per capita consumption of fish will be increased up to 30
kilograms per annum by 2020. At present the per capita consumption of
fish is 11 kilograms per annum.
It is planned to increase the export of fish and fishery products to
530,000 mt by 2020 from the 18,500 mt at present.
The existing 13 functioning major fishery harbours will be modernised
with ice plants, cold storages, freezing rooms, fuel storages, increased
berthing length and communication facilities.
In addition it is planned to convert the seven anchorages to
modernised marine resource harbours by 2020 while 12 landing sites
located in the Eastern, Northern and North Western provinces will be
developed to anchorages.
At present the fishery industry is provided with 70 percent of its
ice requirement and it is planned to increase it to 100 percent by 2015.
The post harvest losses will be maintained at 5 percent thereby
giving quality fish to the consumer through an unbroken cold chain.
About 16,000 traditional boats will be replaced with 5,000 multi-day
boats while the balance will be converted to fibre glass reinforced
plastic boats. It is planned to establish five fishing gear factories in
the coastal provinces which will be capable of manufacturing and
repairing multiday boats.
Fish processing zones will be at Negombo, Beruwela, Galle, Mirissa,
Hambantota, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Point Pedro and Mannar.
Plans are afoot to produce dried fish, canned fish and maldive fish
locally while imports will be confined to specified products to be used
in the tourism industry.
It is planned to bring Sri Lanka to the fifth place among 49
countries which harvest tuna while expanding production from 90,000 mt
to 175,000 mt in 2020 while the annual production of fingerlings will be
increased to 80 mln by 2020.