July 11, 2011


Ceylon fish consumption up by 11%



Fish consumption has increased by 11% from last year due to reduced fish prices and expansion of Ceylon Fisheries Corporation's (CFC) fish stalls islandwide, said Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne.


He was addressing the opening ceremony of a community centre in Sagarasirigama. Community centres and fish-landing centres were opened in Epamulla, Ja-Ela, Palangathurai, Wennappuwa, Thaldeka, Kadawatha, Modarawella, Kurusagahapaduwa and Ambakandawila areas as well.


Over 6,500 fishery community members will benefit from these centres, according to the ministry. They have been built under the Fisheries, Ports Development and Reconstruction Project with funds from Canadian International Development Agency under the guidance of the World Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).


A total of INR6.6 million (US$148,631) had been spent on the community centres, fish market and auction centre in Chillaw-Wennappuwa Thaldeka fisheries port, INR3.6 million (US$81,071) on Marawila and South Kadawatha fishery services centres, engine stores, cool rooms, research office and conference room, INR8.9 million (US$200,427) on the fish auction center, research offices and multi-duty building in Maha Wewa, Kurusagahapaduwa, Chillaw and Ambakandawila and INR12.8 million (US$288,255) on Sagarasirigama and Palangathurai community and fish landing centres. There are plans to implement the Business Development Project for the fishery community in Sagarasirigama and Palangathurai areas.


"We have a responsibility to solve the problems of the fishery communities and uplift their livelihoods. That will also help us achieve our development goals. Protein deficiency has become a main reason for malnutrition in Sri Lanka and all measures will be taken immediately to reduce malnutrition while increasing fish consumption," the minister said.


The ministry has taken action to ban illegal fishing vessels and equipment, and introduce Vessels Monitoring System (VMS) and Satellite system to identify their boundaries. These measures will help develop the fisheries industry, he added.

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