June 07, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse has instructed Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Development Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne to introduce a method to set a guarnateed price for fish.
The President has suggested that decision on the price should be taken collectively by the fisher community, the Ministry and the Treasury.
President Rajapaksa has suggested these measures during a meeting held at the Temple Trees on Friday to discuss problems faced by the fisher community.
He has pointed out that many of the issues faced by the fisher community could be addressed by ensuring a guaranteed price for fish.
The government has established certified prices for other agricultural products such as rice.
During the meeting Minister Senaratne has brought to the attention the issue of illegal fishing methods. He noted that some fishermen carry out explosions in the sea bed and the stressed that the practice should be immediately stopped.
The President has instructed the Police Chief to take immediate measures to apprehend those who are engaged in illegal fishing methods and enforce the law.
Discussing the remarkable progress the industry has made over the last few years, the Fisheries Minister has noted that the annual fish production of the country is nearly 600,000 metric tons and Sri Lanka has surpassed Thailand and Vietnam in the sea and inland fisheries sectors.
Although an increase in the fisheries resources was not witnessed within the last 10 years as a result of climatic changes, it was possible to increase the fisheries harvest due to the special measures followed by the Fisheries Ministry, the Minister noted.
The Minister also disclosed that the rural economy has strengthened due to the progress seen in fresh water fisheries industry.
According to the Minister income from the fisheries industry has exceeded 10 billion rupees.