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“Sri Lanka should exploit economical advantage of huge ocean resources”

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The key participants at the event. Picture by Shirjaiv Sirimane
The key participants at the event. Picture by Shirjaiv Sirimane

Sri Lanka has yet to tap huge ocean resources and urgent steps should be taken to exploit this economical advantage, said Vice Chancellor of University of Ruhuna, Sujeewa Amarasena.

Corals also feed and secure over 25% marine species and occupy around 1% of the world’s total land base. It also helps to generate billions of dollars for the tourism sector. “Also world is now looking at corals towards making Parma products and corals are now dubbed as the future medicine cup boards of the world.”

He opined this at the China-Sri Lanka Joint Symposium of Coral Reef Ecology held in Colombo Hilton yesterday. The event was hosted to promote academic exchange in the field of coral reef research between China and Sri Lanka, and further enhance the research and conservation of coral reef ecosystems in both countries.

The joint symposium is hosted by the University of Ruhuna (UoR), South China Sea Institute of Oceanology (SCSIO), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and China – Sri Lanka Joint Center for Educationand Research (CSL-CER), CAS. The joint symposium is undertaken by the CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd (CPCC).

He said that it is estimated that the total global ‘corals sector’ alone has a value of over USD 30 billion and Sri Lanka is yet to capitalize on this. Deputy Director, Coast Conservation and Coastal Resources Management Department (CC&CRMD), B. H. J. Premathilake said that one of the biggest issues that affected the coals was the limestone industry where people used corals as basic raw material to produce lime. “However with time and new technology corals are no longer needed for this and this has helped to save the corals to a great extent. However fishing and human intervention is still hampering the protection of corals and they have taken steps to conserve corals and a new fifth generation plan is to be formulated soon.”

Prof. P.B.T.P. Kumara focused on the research of coral reefs for many years. He said Sri Lanka should look at using techniques for coral reef restoration from China and collaborate with Chinese partners. Prof. Hui Huang from SCSIO has devoted herself to coral research and practical actions to save corals from 2005, ( affectionately called ‘coral mother’ by Chinese media) said, the most commonly used method of coral planting is the ‘rivet method’, and the planting methods should also be adapted to local conditions in Sri Lanka. The CSL-CER was officially established in 2015 by University of Ruhuna (UoR), University of Peradeniya (UoP) from Sri Lanka, and South China Sea institute of Oceanology (SCSIO), Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences (RCEES), University of Chinese Academy of Sciences from China.



Wednesday, June 7, 2023 – 01:00

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