SLA allows limited fishing in Jaffna lagoon
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 12 December 2006, 01:54 GMT]
Following talks held Saturday between the representatives of Fishermen Societies in Pasaiyoor, Gurunagar, Colombuthurai and officials of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in Jaffna, limited fishing was allowed in Jaffna lagoon providing a measured relief to fisher families affected by the four month old fishing ban, fisheries society sources said. The relaxation did not apply to Vadamaradchi north, east and many of the islets.
According to the new directive,
- 250 fishermen in 60 boats equipped with sails may fish within a two miles distance in the Jaffna lagoon on a rotation basis, from 8:00 a.m to 2:00 p.m, flying white flags.
- A further 15 trawlers may fish using out board motors flying white flags from 2:00 p.m to 8:00 a.m.
- Fishing nets left behind by fishermen may be retrieved from the Ariyalai lagoon within a week from Monday.
- Fish may be sold next to Gurunagar jetty from Monday during 8:00 a.m to 12:00 noon.
With about 2500 fishermen competing for access to sea, the SLA's restricted quota allows a fisherman to go out to sea once every 10 days, fisheries sources said.
Deep sea fishermen too would face the same plight, where each is allowed to take their trawler once every ten days.
"Fisher families will continue to suffer economically until the ban is lifted fully. However, we accepted this arrangement as the situation of fisher families had deteriorated to crisis levels where families could not even afford one meal-a-day, fishermen society representatives said.
The predicament of Vadamaradchi fishermen remain grim, the sources said.