FAO in Sri Lanka

Capacity Building of Sri Lankan Boat Builders to Improve Safety of Fishers


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) organized practical training sessions for boat builders to improve the safety of small-scale fishing vessels in Sri Lanka.

25 boat builders of small-scale fishing vessels and inspectors of the Department of Fisheries were trained in practical boat building skills for fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) boats. The training covered setting up of the workshop floor area, mould construction, the preparation of frames, fittings, coating and finishing of the boat surface, quality assurance and general boat construction aspects among others.

The FAO/IMO/ILO Safety Recommendations for Decked Fishing Vessels of Less than 12 metres in Length and Undecked Fishing Vessels (2012), which contains international construction standards for small-scale FRP boats, was used as guidance, and experiences from the construction of two small-scale fishing demonstration vessels were shared.

The training also focused on vessel energy efficiency improvements, using the FAO manual on “Fuel savings for small fishing vessels”; which was distributed in Tamil and Sinhala languages to the participants.

The practical training was conducted by FAO naval architect/master boat builder Mr Derrick Menezes and is a follow-up to a training programme of boat builders and boat inspectors in FRP boat building skills, practices and quality assurance, conducted in 2022. Both training programmes aimed to increase the boat building skills and contribute to the construction of higher quality and safer boats for small-scale fishers in Sri Lanka.

The training programmes and translation of publications was supported by the joint project implemented by FAO in partnership with the Ministry of Fisheries on “Responsible use of fisheries and aquaculture resources for sustainable development”  (GCP/GLO/352/NOR), which helps the fisheries sector in Sri Lanka adapt to climate change and secure sustainable socio-economic fisheries development.