Outlook for Jaffna fishermen remains bleak

[TamilNet, Friday, 02 January 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Jaffna fisheries department sources said today that proposals announced by the Sri Lankan government on December 28, 1997 to develop the Jaffna fishing industry would founder due to the current restrictions placed by the Sri Lankan army and navy on lagoon and deep sea fishing in and around the peninsula.

Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Mahinda Rajapakse, told a press conference at the Sugathadasa Stadium on December 28 last year that two abandoned ice factories in the North are to be repaired shortly to help preserve fish before being sent to Colombo's markets.

The Minister said that the biggest obstacle for the development of the fishing industry in the north is the security situation.

The Sri Lankan government says 600 boats and 7000 fishing nets are to be sent to the north to help local fishermen and their living conditions are be looked at with houses to be built under the 'ten thousand houses' programme.

The fishing industry in the Tamil areas has been devastated by a ban on fishing imposed by the Sri Lankan military for many years. Fishing is only allowed within certain inshore areas designated by the military.


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