Fishery industry hampered due to import restrictions


Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda said, he would take steps as soon as possible to resolve issues faced by multi-day trawler owners and fishermen, while continuing to supply them with fuel, including kerosene.

All Ceylon Multi-day Trawler Owners’ Association representatives recently met the Fisheries Minister at the Ministry to discuss issues pertaining to fishing.

Association representatives brought to the Minister’s attention that the fishery industry was facing severe constraints due to the non-importation of fishery accessories such as boats, batteries, bilikatu, and thangoos nets.

Minister Devananda gave a patient hearing to Association representatives and requested them to submit a list of required items to import these as soon as possible in consultation with President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Devananda said, he did not receive the required stock of fuel including kerosene and diesel. He said the fishing industry was vital for the economy as it brings in much-needed foreign exchange and instructed officials to take action to distribute fuel to fishermen following discussions with the relevant officials.

Meanwhile, the representatives pointed out that fees charged by the company which repairs VMS equipment was high and requested the Minister to look into the matter and bring down the cost.

He promised to resolve this issue. Ministry Secretary Indu Ratnayake, Director General of Fisheries Department Susantha Kahawatta and Association President Tyron Fernando were also present during the meeting.

BY Naalir Jamaldeen