ICSFDC News Alerts

Sri lanka: Reeling fishermen seek government relief November 20,2020   |  Source: Union of Catholic Asian News

Justin Vincent Anthony's village has been locked down for more than a month. During this time, he went to sea for a few days to support his family but the fish he caught could not be sold at market. Both local fish markets were closed and he tried to sell his catch on the streets, but the police chased him away. On many days, Anthony and other fishermen could not even afford the diesel for their boats. Sri Lankan fishermen face another problem too. Many people erroneously believe the coronavirus can be transmitted by eating fish. Vendors have to face numerous obstacles selling their catch as the public has shunned fish. "These days, living with a family of five is very difficult," said Anthony, a 62-year-old Catholic from Basiyawatta, Negombo. Meril Fernando, who ties a small box on the back of his bicycle and goes from house to house to sell fish, said families have stopped eating fish since Covid-19 struck. He has to go to areas where the lockdown has been lifted to sell fish.

The fishing town of Negombo has long been called "Little Rome" because the population is about 75 percent Catholic. The fishing industry is facing severe problems due to media misinformation and unreasonable fear among the public. Sri Lanka has reported over 18,400 cases of coronavirus and 69 deaths.

 

© 2020, Union of Catholic Asian News Limited.

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