SLN imposes fishing ban in Vadamaraadchi North

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 26 March 2008, 09:41 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) issued a special order Tuesday banning all fishing activities in Vadamaraadchi North in seas from Point Pedro Munai and Katkoava'lam up to Valveddiththu'rai (VVT) until further notice. The fishermen who set out for fishing in the morning were turned back by the troops manning the check points along the coast, Fishermen Society Federation sources in Jaffna said.

SLA currently permits only day time fishing in the seas in the vicinity and that too only on manually operated boats or catamaran without outboard motors while limiting the distance from the shore for fishing. In addition, strict orders have been issued regarding the piers from which the boats are allowed to set out for fishing.

When Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) vessels travel from Trincomalle harbour bound for Kankesanturai (KKS) carrying troops, arms, and provisions for the 40,000 troops stationed in the peninsula, SLN issues abrupt orders banning fishing.

After the closure of A9 Highway since Aug 2006, SLA is forced to rely only on sea transport of its needs and whenever there is movement of SLN vessels sudden orders are issued halting fishing activities, causing great economic hardships to the fishermen already suffering under various forms of restrictions during the past two decades, Fishermen Society Federation sources in Jaffna said.

The fishermen in Valikaamam and the islets of Jaffna too face the similar restrictions and ban on fishing.

Fishing in Jaffna peninsula has suffered a near 95% plunge in the past twenty year period from 1983 due to ban and restrictions imposed on fishing by Sri Lanka Army (SLA), rendering most of the fishermen dependent on relief supplies to survive, Fishermen Society spokesman Jaffa said..

48,677 metric tonnes fish caught in 1983 had dropped to 2,963 metric tonnes in 2007, according to Department of Fisheries in Jaffna.

78,000 fishermen from 18,040 fisher families in the peninsula depend on fishing as their sole livelihood and of these 17,751 families are currently engaged in fishing while the rest depend on relief supplies for their living.


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