Fishing industry on Sri Lanka’s Jaffna peninsula revitalized

Posted: 
06/28/13

Sri Lanka - Australia and IOM have completed a USD 465,000 (LKR 58 million) project to restore critical fishing infrastructure on Sri Lanka’s Jaffna Peninsula, providing a necessary boost to the local fishing industry after 30 years of conflict and natural disasters.

Australian High Commissioner Robyn Mudie this week handed over a reconstructed anchorage in Passaiyoor, Jaffna to Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources at a ceremony attended by Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Minister Dr. Rajitha Senarathne.

Before the reconstruction, full access for fishing boats from the area was only possible during high tide, creating dangerous conditions for fishermen and damaging boats.

The reconstructed anchorage will allow full access to the sea at any time, directly supporting higher incomes for around 700 fishing families, many of whom have been displaced multiple times.

Ms. Mudie said: “Australia is proud to see more boats using the anchorage and incomes increasing.  This project is a good example of the partnership between the Australian and Sri Lankan Governments to support local communities and the economic recovery of this region.”

“IOM’s on-going support for returnees and resettled displaced persons is highly appreciated,” said Suntharam Arumainayaham, Jaffna District Secretary. “Through close work with government, IOM has contributed to the development of the fishing and agricultural sectors. I thank IOM and the Australian Government for their generous support in this vital project.”

 “We can fish much more easily now,” said Gracian Demiyan, Secretary of the local fishermen’s cooperative. “Our boats and engines are safer, the quality and quantity of our catch is increasing, and that has improved our earnings. The installation of a park using material dredged up from the harbour has enhanced our village as well.”

The project was managed by the IOM in close consultation with the Divisional Secretary, local government officials, the Fishermen’s Cooperative Society, community-based organizations, the Sri Lankan Navy, the Department of Fisheries, the Jaffna Municipal Council and others.

For more information please contact

Giuseppe Loprete
IOM Colombo
Email: loprete@iom.int
Tel. 0773 521612

or

Namal Perera
Australian High Commission in Colombo
Email: namal.perera@dfat.gov.au
Tel. 0714 200677