Fishers getting into trouble in Int’l Waters: Douglas asks France for VMSs
By Paneetha Ameresekere
Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda on Wednesday (7) requested French aid to obtain vessel monitoring systems (VMSs) from French Ambassador Eric Lavertu, the Ministry said on Thursday (8).
The occasion was when Lavertu visited the Ministry in Colombo to ascertain from the Minister what sort of aid the French Government could provide to uplift the local fisheries industry.
The Minister said that in this respect he was asking for French aid to obtain VMSs as local fishers encountered various difficulties by not having VMSs in their multiday fishing crafts when sailing on international waters.
Devananda’s Press officer Nelson Edirisinghe told this reporter, that the Ambassador said he would consider this request. The Minister said that they were getting VMSs from another country but were insufficient. Edirisinghe said that a VMS Set would cost over Rs100,000.
Meanwhile, Lavertu told the Minister that French aid will be sent to Batticaloa to develop the local fresh water fish industry. Currently French aid is expected to develop four fishery harbours located in the Southern Region, namely at Beruwela, Galle, Kudawella and Puranawella, respectively, the Ministry said. Among those associated at this meeting were the Embassy’s Economic Counsellor John Alexander and the Minister’s Private Secretary K. Dayananda, the Ministry said.