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Sri Lanka: Microplastics a key factor in Sri Lanka’s plunging fish stocks by Dilrukshi Handunnetti June 13,2019   |  Source: Eurasia Review

Microplastics and overfishing are the leading causes of extensive marine pollution in Sri Lanka, a new survey has found. The survey, the first of its kind carried out in 40 years, showed that the island’s fish stock had dropped drastically by about 80 percent, in part due to high levels of microplastic contamination.

The island’s northwestern seas recorded the highest levels of marine pollution, while seas to the east remain rich with marine life and should be made a conservation priority, researchers say.Plummeting fish stocks and crisis-level volumes of plastic pollution should spur Sri Lanka to adopt new regulations and mechanisms to prevent further contamination of the seas around it, experts say. The call comes in the wake of findings from a 2018 survey — commissioned by the National Aquatic Resources Agency (NARA) and supported by Norway’s Institute of Marine Research (IMR) and carried out on the Norwegian research vessel Fridtjof Nansen — that were published in January.

The survey, the first of its kind in 40 years, found that nearly four-fifths of small pieces of the plastic waste in Sri Lanka’s territorial waters arrived via rivers and canals, said Terney Pradeep Kumara, general manager of the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA). “This

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