Vadamarachchi fishermen refrain from going to sea

[TamilNet, Sunday, 16 November 2003, 11:31 GMT]
Fishermen from the northern coastal villages in the Vadamarachi sector on the Jaffna peninsula say that they are unable to go out to sea as they fear their boats would crash against coral reef found around fisheries landing points. They say the coral reef should be removed to deepen the fishing landing points, but the Sri Lankan military (SLA) is obstructing their efforts, according to fisheries officials.

Vadamarachchi Fishermen Societies Federation officials told TamilNet that the fishermen are unable to identify coral reef areas in sea when they return to shore because water levels are rising in coastal areas due to heavy rain.

Coastal sentry point.
SLA sentry constructed with coral reef in northern coast.
Hundreds of fishermen have not been able to go fishing the past week. They have now beached their crafts on dunes in coastal areas, the officials said.

Fishing in this region has been restricted for the past twenty years and fishing landing points have been neglected.

Following a meeting between the Vadamarachchi Fishermen Societies Federation and the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) officials last month, the fishermen were allowed to deepen the landing points.

However, the fishermen abandoned their plan to deepen the landing points when the SLA insisted they keep the collected corals on the shore.

The Jaffna District Fisheries Department in the meantime has announced that all fishermen should obtain passes from the department for fishing in northern sea. From next year this procedure will be strictly enforced to implement fisheries regulations which has banned the use of prohibited nets, said Jaffna Assistant Director of Fisheries Mr.S. Jospeh, said.

This procedure has been in force in rest of the island except in Jaffna district, the fisheries department said.

Jaffna district fishermen now use all types of fishing nets including prohibited ones. The use of prohibited nets destroys sea resources, fisheries officials said.

 

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