INFORMATION ON FISHERIES MANAGEMENT IN THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST
REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA

January 1998


LOCATION AND MAIN LANDING PLACES (1996)

District name
1/

No of boats

In board

Multiday

boats

Engines

Day boats

Out board

FRP boats

Engines

Traditional craft

Non-motorised

Traditional

craft

Landings in
metric tons
2/

Batticaloa

Batticaloa

Valachchnai

-

214

159

7

2,877

5,592

Colombo

Moratuwa

Dehiwala

Mutwal

26

60

104

-

206

1,327

Gampaha

Negombo

Pitipana

198

147

1614

24

2128

22,149

Galle

Magalle

Galle

Ambalangoda

Balapitiya

184

83

259

199

554

16,231

Hambantota

Tangalle

Hambantota

Kirinda

203

85

470

362

860

14,165

Kalutara

Kalutara

Beruwala

Panadura

331

53

175

1

710

12,769

Kalmunai

Kalmunai

-

227

126

132

856

5,038

Matara

Matara

Mirissa

Kottegoda

474

284

245

171

852

15,259

Puttalam

Kalpitiya

Kandakuliya

Udappuwa

21

48

2512

128

1921

22,096

Chilaw

Chilaw

Marawila

Wennappuwa

147

126

1665

-

1552

21,605

Trincomalee

Sagarapura

Trincomalee

126

216

1005

118

1364

8,432

Northern Province 3/

Jaffna

Mydiddy

Point Pedro

Velvetithurai

Thondamannar

Nainativu

Delft

Mullativu

Kokolai

Thalimannar

Pesalai

Mannar

N.A

N.A

N.A.

N.A

N.A

4,637

TOTAL

1,710

1,543

8,334

1142

13,880

149,300

 

1/ Landing Centre-wise data is not available.
2/ District-wise figures on offshore, deep sea and Inland Fisheries are not available.
3/ Northern Province consists of Jaffna, Killinochchi, Mullativu &Mannar Districts.

FISHERIES POLICIES AND PLANS

Present plans for fisheries

  • Special national programme for development of fisheries and aquatic resources on a scientific basis to ensure that the benefits will accrue to the fishing communities and the consumers.

  • Development of fishery harbours, anchorage and landing points to facilitate fishing operations.

  • Provision of modern fishing boats, engines, fishing gear, equipment and other accessories.

  • Legislation to protect the fisheries and aquatic resources and fishermen from all local and international sea pirates.

  • Establishment of a National Fisheries University Institute to train fishermen in new technology and improved methods of navigation. Modernising the fishing industry from hunting to a culture based industry.

  • Provision of an insurance scheme for fishermen.

  • Provision of fishing boats equipped with new technology, engines, fishing nets, implements at subsidised prices.

  • Special subsidy scheme to support fishing communities during periods of low income.

  • Promotion of exports providing capital under a special assistance scheme.

  • Credit facilities, tax concessions and advisory services to develop fishery related ancillary industries.

  • Development of freshwater and ornamental fish industry.

MANAGEMENT MEASURES IN USE

  • Implementation of the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act no. 2 of 1996.

  • Control of fishing operations in the sea, estuaries and coastal lagoons through a licensing system.

  • Prohibition of operation of harmful fishing methods such as push nets, harpooning, moxi net and gill net or trammel net fishing operations on coral reefs or rocks.

  • Management of inland fisheries through a licensing system.

  • Prohibition of certain types of boats and fishing gear in inland water bodies. Licensing of aquaculture enterprises including shrimp culture projects.

  • Registration of fishing craft to control fishing capacity and fishing effort.

  • Establishment of Management Committees for fisheries management areas.

  • Registration of fishermen both in marine and inland sectors.

Integrated management of coastal areas in relation to fisheries

Integrated Management of coastal areas in relation to fisheries has emerged as a successful method of managing resources in the coastal zone of Sri Lanka. Under the "Special Area Management" process based on the local level involvement and collaboration, local communities are getting used to manage their natural resources including fisheries successfully. Though this programme is coming under the Department of Coast Conservation in Sri Lanka, all the other concerned Agencies are assisting the implementation of the programme. On the strength of the results achieved in two selected SAM sites in the Southern Coast (Rekawa and Hikkaduwa) in 1993, another twenty-one sites have been reviewed and ranked for SAM designation.

ROLE OF THE PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SECTOR

The role of the public sector would primarily be the management of all aquatic resources and planning the sector development and guiding the private sector in investments to enhance the efficiency of the sector. Law enforcement and regulation, research, education and training, extension and providing essential infrastructure facilities such as harbours, anchorage and feeder roads to improve the efficiency of the production process are also handled by the public sector. Provision of welfare facilities to the fishing community and the provision of producer subsidy to purchase fishing boats and other equipment too coming under the public sector.

As in the other sectors of the economy, private sector is the engine of growth in the fisheries sector as well. The private sector except for a marginal contribution by the Ceylon Fisheries Corporation (CFC) and the fishery co-operatives handle fish production, and processing and marketing including exports. Almost 90 percent of the support services such as boat building and repairs, fuel and water supply, production and sale of ice, importation and sale of engines, fishing gear and accessories are provided by the private sector.

At present, there are about 769 village level fishery co-operative societies with a membership of 89,000. Most of these co-operatives are not functioning properly.

TRAINING LEVEL IN THE INDUSTRY

Training in the fisheries sector is a responsibility of the State. The National Institute of Fisheries Training (NIFT) coming under the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development undertakes training for specific target groups identified. The NIFT by its mandate ensures an employable entry-level fisherman career and trains the practising fishermen in new appropriate technological advances introduced to the sector. The NIFT also possesses a fleet of training vessels and a highly skilled sea-going staff. In addition a good number of staff undergo training in foreign countries in every year through bilateral and multilateral technical assistance programmes.

INVESTMENTS IN FISHERIES

The public sector investment in fisheries during 1996 was US$ 11.3 million under the following sub-sectors.

  • Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development US$ 9.2 million.

  • Department of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources US$ 2.1 million.

The investment figures of the private sector are not readily available. However, according to the National Fisheries Development Plan (1995 - 2000) of Sri Lanka, the investment expected from the private sector during the year 1996 was US$ 27.9 million, under the following sub sectors.

  • Marine Fisheries - US$ 2.8 million
  • Inland Fisheries & Aquaculture - US$ 7.5 million
  • Fishing Communities - US$ 6 million
  • Infrastructure facilities - US$ 6.2 million
  • Support service - US$ 5.4 million

MAIN FISHERIES REGULATIONS

Under the new Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act came into force in 1996 in place of the Fisheries Ordinance promulgated in 1940, following main regulations were passed by the Parliament.

Fishing operations regulations

  • Push net fishing, harpooning for marine mammals, moxi net fishing, and gill net or trammels net fishing on coral reefs or rocks are prohibited.

  • Catching, landing, transporting, selling, buying, receiving or possessing of any marine mammal or turtle is prohibited.

  • Only specified fishing operations are allowed on licences.

Inland fisheries and aquaculture management regulations

  • Fishing in inland waterbodies is allowed only on licences.

  • Following types of fishing gear and boats are prohibited.
    i. Any net of mesh size 85 mm or below.
    ii. Any surrounding or towing net.
    iii. Any trammel net.
    iv. Any net made of monofilament netting material.
    v. Any mechanised boat


  • Establishment or operation of aquaculture enterprises is allowed only on licences.

Foreign fishing

  • No permits are issued for foreign fishing vessels to operate within the Exclusive Economic Zone of Sri Lanka;

  • Landing permits are issued to foreign fishing vessels to use local fishing ports and other shore facilities for the fish caught outside Sri Lanka's EEZ.

ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE OF THE MINISTRY OF FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT

(please click to enlarge image)

REFERENCES

  • Annual Report - 1996 Central Bank of Sri Lanka

  • Administrative Report - 1996 Department of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources - Sri Lanka

  • Coastal Zone Management Plans Sri Lanka - 1996 - 2000 Department of Coast Conservation, Sri Lanka

  • Coastal 2000 - Volume I Department of Coast Conservation, Sri Lanka

  • Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act, 1996 Government of Sri Lanka

  • Fisheries Statistics Report ? 1996 Data Management Unit, Department of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources, Sri Lanka

  • National Fisheries Development Plan - 1995 - 2000 Ministry of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources Development.

  • Development Strategy Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development, Sri Lanka.