Written by Staff Writer
23 Aug, 2015 | 8:53 pm
Fishermen charge that a bottom trawling fishing mafia is running rampant in the seas off the idyllic Kalpitiya coast, an area that is renowned across the globe for its unique marine bio-diversity.
“We have no fish in this sea” said a fisherman, a surprising statement by a fisherman from a country surrounded by rich seas.
We realised the truth of this fisherman’s claim, when we witnessed first-hand, the use of the illegal bottom trawling fishing method, in the seas off Kalpitiya Bottom-trawling involves dragging a large net across the seabed with the use of one or more boats.
Bottom-trawling is frowned upon internationally, and is illegal in many countries including Sri Lanka as it causes irreparable environmental damage harming small fish, fish eggs, corals and the seabed itself.
Small scale fishermen charge that the authorities have not taken any measures to to put a stop to the trawling mafia.
Secretary of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Nimal Hettiarachchi speaking to News1st said that raids will be carried out to arrest those who employ illegal fishing methods.
He noted that they have received information that Indian fishermen who enter Sri Lankan waters illegally are also using bottom- trawling, adding that this matter will be taken up with the Indian government.
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