Fishermen complain over stocks lying in harbours shut due to COVID-19

Fishermen complain over stocks lying in harbours shut due to COVID-19

Fishermen complain over stocks lying in harbours shut due to COVID-19

Written by Staff Writer

26 Oct, 2020 | 9:03 pm

COLOMBO (News1st): Fishermen have complained over difficulties in retrieving their catch that has been stored in trawlers at the Beruwala Fisheries Harbour that has been shut due to COVID-19 fears.

On Monday, fishermen visited the harbour to retrieve up to 500,000 kilograms of fish in line with a directive issued by State Fisheries Minister Kanchana Wijesekara.

However, the public health inspector in the area said only fishermen who test negative for COVID-19 will be allowed to enter the fisheries harbour that has remained closed due to COVID-19 fears.

Fishermen pointed out that it is only the staff and drivers attached to the Beruwala Fisheries Harbour who have not tested positive for the virus.

They rejected the decision announced by the Public Health Inspector, citing that they are yet to receive the results of the PCR tests that were carried out 5 days ago.

Fishermen in the Ambalangoda fishing harbour also faced many difficulties due to the current situation.

“It costs more than Rs. 500,000 for a boat to go to sea. We have to pay salaries to the workers on the boat” one fisherman complained.

All fish shops in Negombo were closed on Monday. However, local fishermen had sold their stocks near the Negombo Lagoon.

Our correspondent said the police had intervened to disperse those who attempted to purchase fish.

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