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Biodiversity loss in Palk bay


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Author Topic: Biodiversity loss in Palk bay  (Read 120 times)
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« on: July 10, 2011, 05:38:51 pm »

“Illegal and unreported fishing conducted by poaching Indian fishing vessels has caused serious biodiversity loss in the country’s Northern sea.

“It is now a conservation issue,” said Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Ministry Secretary Dr Damitha De Soyza.

“Between 400 to 500 Indian trawlers poach in Sri Lankan territorial waters on a daily basis, said Soyza. Bottom trawling is trawling across the sea floor.

The method has been banned as a destructive fishing method because it destroys millions of eggs, juvenile fish, sea grass and corals,” she explained.

The number of Indian trawlers that trespass International Maritime Boundary Lines and poach in Sri Lankan waters in the Gulf of Mannar and Palk Strait have increased over the years, she said.

“Their main target is Palk Bay,” she said. They have been fishing in Sri Lankan side of the Bay for over three decades.

“Now with the sea has been liberated after the end of the war, the fishermen in the Northern province want to improve their livelihoods with increased fish collections, she said. The fishermen have called upon Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratna to stop illegal trawling carried out by Indian fishermen as it has a negative impact on their fish catches.

The members of the Jaffna Fishermen’s Association told the Daily News that they do not get to catch much fish as they used to form their traditional fishing grounds since the resources are being taken away by the Indian trawlers. “They have launched even larger trawlers from recent times. If this was not stopped, there will be no fish for future generations,” a fisherman said.

Asked if the ministry had taken action to prevent illegal fishing by foreign trawlers, Soyza said the ministry is planning to adopt international fishing standards.

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