ICSFDC News Alerts

Sri Lanka: Fishing industry rogues blowing up marine habitat by Asiri Fernando April 15,2019   |  Source: The Sunday Times

Blast fishing, commonly referred to as dynamite fishing, an illegal and destructive form of fishing, is on the rise in Sri Lanka and is a serious cause for concern, experts warn. So far this year, the Sri Lanka Navy and the Police Special Task Force have seized 700 sticks of gelignite and similar explosives from suspects engaging in fishing, or in transporting the explosives. The Navy has also taken into custody 63 kilograms of ‘water gel’ explosives in the first three months of this year, a significant rise considering that in 2017, the overall haul was 52 kilos.

Last week, the Navy arrested two individuals who are suspected to have used dynamite to harvest nearly 250 kilos of fish off the popular tourist destination Marble Beach in China Bay, Trincomalee. Also last week, a joint raid by wildlife conservation officers and the Navy saw the arrest of eight suspects who were cutting mangroves in Udeiadi lagoon, Wankalai. The Navy suspects that the mangrove branches are used to create small breeding grounds in shallow waters offshore. Once the the new habitat attracts a shoal of fish, dynamite is used to harvest the fish.

Dr. Sisira Haputhantri, the head of the marine biological resources division at the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA),

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Years in Support of Small Scale Fishworkers (1986 - 2018)