FAO assistance to streamline multi-day fishing vessels | Daily News

FAO assistance to streamline multi-day fishing vessels

The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is likely to grant financial assistance for realizing a new boat design to the inboard multi- day fishing boats engaged in deep sea fishing continuously for nearly 30-45 days or a longer period. The harvest losses are being experienced depending on the reasons such as Postharvest Management, the situation of the cubical where harvested fish are being deposited, the nature of raw materials used for designing the storage cubical, the storage system etc.

A recent study conducted by the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) has revealed that due to unsystematic fish management methodologies of the inboard multi-day boats, the loss of fish harvest has been 60% to 70% amounting to Rs.22 billion.

The study has further disclosed that there are 6,000 registered interior multi-day vessels (IMUL), of which 1,250 are operating in the deep sea while the balance engage in fishing in the exclusive economic zone. The non-availability of adequate freezing and storage facilities in these vessels is a major problem facing the fishing industry.

The implementation of the proposed new boat design programme has been entrusted with NARA, National Engineering Research and Development Centre and the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Department under the supervision of the Fisheries Ministry. The project would be implemented as a pilot project by fitting more advanced catching, storing and freezing mechanisms to selected categories of multi-day fishing boats and depending on its success will be extended to all other needy fishing vessels, a Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Department spokesman told the Daily News.

The spokesman said that the new multi-day fishing boat design system is launched conforming to the latest technology, strategies and advanced managerial methodologies and envisaged in President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's National Policy Framework, “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour” to minimize waste and enhance productivity.

The Spokesman emphasized that in terms of the 2018 fisheries sector statistics, fish supplying 65% of the protein requirement of the people in the country. It has been estimated that at present, fish consumption per capita stands at 15 kilograms and the Health Ministry has recommended increasing this amount to 21 kilograms per annum. He pointed out that under the circumstances the fish harvest needed to be increased and quality fish provided at a reasonable price.