NECORD reactivates deep-sea fishing in Jaffna district

[TamilNet, Saturday, 14 February 2004, 16:19 GMT]
The North East Community Restoration Development (NECORD) project funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has established a Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) for the provision of fiberglass fishing crafts, nets and motors to fishermen through Jaffna district fisheries co-operative societies to reactivate deep-sea fishing in the northern sea, NECORD Project Director Mr.T.Lankaneson said.

NECORD funds deep sea fishing
NECORD Project Director Mr.Lankaneson ( third from right ) and ADB Sri Lanka Director Mr.John R.Cooney (extreme right)with some members of fisheries soctieties in Maruthankerni
The total cost of this project is Rs: 38.592 million rupees and of this amount 4.8 million rupees was provided by the Government of Netherlands to the United Nations Development (UNDP) programme to monitor the implementation of the RLF, Lankanesan further said.

NECORD has started distributing funds under the RLF to eighteen fisheries co-operative societies, which are members of the Vadamarachchi east fisheries federation. These societies are located in Maruthankerni divisional secretariat division. Cheques for 34.8 million rupees were handed over to officials of the eighteen co-operatives societies at an event held recently at Maruthankerni.

ADB Country Director Mr.John R.Cooney, the first secretary of the Netherlands Embassy Mr.Jan Huesken, North East provincial Council Chief Secretary Mr.S.Rangarajah, NECORD Project Director Mr.T.Lankaneson, UNDP officials and several government representatives attended the event, NECORD sources said.

NECORD funds deep sea fishing
ADB country director Mr.Cooney with children of Maruthankerni division fisher families

During the first phase of the project, the money allocated would be used to purchase 90 fiberglasses fishing crafts, 210 catamarans, and 135 outboard motors and fishing gear worth 5.5 million rupees, NECORD sources said.

3006 members of 4664 fisher folk families in the Maruthankerni DS division would benefit under this project, NECORD sources said.

The purpose of this project is to restore or provide sustainable livelihoods for the resettled fishermen in the Maruthankerni divisional secretary's division in Jaffna district.

Eighteen fisheries societies are located at Aliyawallai, Kaddaikaddu, Vettilaikerni, Maruthankerni, Vaththirayan, Uduthurai, Nagarkovil west, Nagarkovil east, Manalkadu, Potpathi, Kudaththanai north, Mamunai, Semibianpathu, Thalaiyadi, Athikoviladi, Thondamanaru, Thumpalai east and Supparmadam in Maruthankerni DS division, NECORD sources said.

NECORD funds deep sea fishing
NECORD Project Director Mr.Lankaneson hands over cheque to an official of a fisheries co-operative society in Marunthankerni division

The Maruthankerni DS division is one of the worst conflict-affected fisheries sectors in the Jaffna peninsula. The populations of the villages in the division were displaced several times during the conflict and have returned to find little remaining of their homes, crafts, or fishing gear. During the conflict 477 fiberglass boats, 60 vallams and about 473 catamarans were damaged/destroyed. Many do no have capital to procure fishing crafts and gear they lost. Furthermore the fishing communities have limited access to credit facilities. Hence the ADB funded NECORD formulated the RLF project for Maruthankerni fishermen through fisheries co-operative societies, a NECORD official said.

According to a study, fisheries industry has traditionally played a significant role Jaffna's economy. From 1983 to 1990, an average of 22,845 metric tones of fish were caught within the district. During the conflict this average dropped to 2154 metric tones per year, sources said.


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