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Discussion to stop illegal fishing activities in Trincomalee

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Many Fishermen’s associations allege that an illegal fishing activity using Dynamites is being carried out in the Eastern Province including Trincomalee. Accordingly, a special discussion between Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda and the Governor of Eastern Province Senthil Thondaman was held to work out a programme to stop illegal fishing recently at the Fisheries Ministry.

Expressing views at the discussion Governor of Eastern Province Senthil Thondaman stated that after his assumption of duty as the Governor, he had discussions with many civil organisations in the area, regarding the issues of the people and most of the people put forward the prevailing fishermen’s issues. The Governor drew the attention of the Minister towards the destruction of marine resources by using Dynamites and the acquisition of lands that had been used for aquatic culture in the past, by Forest Conservation Department and the Wildlife Department. The Governor requested the Minister to take prompt actions to solve these issues since obstructions crop up when using these lands for fishing activities.

Expressing views at the discussion Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda stated that not only in the Eastern Province but also in the Northern Province, these illegal fishing activities are being carried out and actions have been taken to make aware of the officials of Fisheries Department and the Security Forces. So far, many fishermen who engaged in illegal fishing activities have been arrested and produced before the Court. The Minister added that during the past due to the war situation forest areas and lagoon areas have been separated as forest conservation zones and currently Wildlife Department is reluctant to release these lands for aquatic culture. He has discussed with the Wildlife Affairs Minister in many occasions and he would take measures to get these lands released in the future and develop aquatic culture.

Many officials including Fisheries Ministry Secretary Indu Rathnayake and Fisheries Department Director General Susantha Kahawaththa attended the discussion.

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