'Codbay harbor rehabilitation benefits big businessmen' - Fishery Society

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 24 September 2003, 10:17 GMT]
Representatives of fisheries co-operative societies in Trincomalee district complained at a conference held at Trincomalee Town Hall Monday that the rehabilitation of the Codbay fisheries harbour under the Asian Development Bank funded Eastern Province Coastal Community Development Project (EPCCDP) would only benefit the big migrant businessmen who use multi-day boats for fishing and not small fishermen who are natives of the district, sources said.

EPCCDP urged to safeguard fishermen
EPCCDP Project Director Mr.Thavasilingam speaks at the conference
Multi-day boats stay in sea and return to shore with the catch after a week or ten days. Small fishermen use small plastic and fibreglass boats and go to sea daily and return the same day evening with the catch. "The rehabilitation of the Codbay fisheries harbour, would certainly benefit big businessmen engaged in fish trade deploying trawlers and multi-day boats and not us," said the fishermen representatives.

Under the EPCCDP programme, Codbay fisheries harbour in the Trincomalee district and five fish landing sites located at Pulmoddai, Salli, Pudavaikaddu, Kuchchaveli and Kallarawa have been selected for rehabilitation, sources said.

The conference was summoned to obtain views of the local fishing organizations regarding the implementation of the proposed EPCCDP project in the eastern province from next year for a period of six years, said EPCCDP Project Director Mr.T.Thavasilingam said.

Fishing societies representatives requested that the welfare of thousands of small time fishermen in the Trincomalee district should not be neglected under the proposed EPCCDP project, sources said

Currently only big businessmen belonging to Sinhala are using the Codbay fisheries harbour. Tamil and Muslim fishermen most of whom use small boats are not using it, the conference was told.

EPCCDP urged to safeguard fishermen
a section of the fisheries representatives attended the conference

A survey report to the EDCCDP said that necessary steps should be taken to ensure the usage by all three communities if to achieve its targeted benefits.

The Codbay fisheries harbour lies within the perimeter of the strategic Trincomalee harbour which has been declared as high security zone by the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN), whose headquarters lies along the entrance of the harbour. "Hence we find difficult to bring our boats inside the harbour," complained multi-day boat owners.

When a fisheries society representative queried the state of Codbay fisheries harbour when the Trincomalee port development project is finalized, Mr.Thavasilingam replied that the final decision of rehabilitating the Codbay fisheries harbour would be taken after third year of the EPCCDP (in 2006) depending on the design report of the Trincomalee port development authority which is expected to be released in two years, sources said.

EPCCDP urged to safeguard fishermen
several multiday boats are seen in Codbay fisheries harbour

If a negative report is received the fisheries harbour is likely to be constructed at Pudavaikaddu, north of Trincomalee, which lies between Kuchchaveli and Pulmoddai. Already the matter is under study, he said.

Fisheries Harbour Development Authority official Mr.Sarath Ranawake and Professor Ms Hemanthi Ranasinghe of Sri Jayawardenepura University also spoke.


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