‘Fishing restrictions should be imposed around Negombo, suburbs’ | Daily News

‘Fishing restrictions should be imposed around Negombo, suburbs’

The Government should impose at least a three-week fishing restriction from now on for fisherman around Negombo and suburbs that affected by the debris of the X-Press Pearl ship to clear the doubts of outstation traders and customers about the quality of the fish being sold at the Peliyagoda Central Fish Market (PCFM) since the majority is of the view that the fish at the market are unsuitable for human consumption, PCFM Chairman Jayasiri Wickramarachchi said.

The unprecedented daily turnover of 90 per cent sales in the recent past at the PCFM has now dropped to 25 per cent due to poor attendance of fish traders and customers at the market.

The PCFM Chairman said that the debris mixed with ocean water along the coastal belt in Negombo have dispelled fish buyers from outstations from buying fish at the market during the past two weeks.

He said that the Fish market is receiving stocks only from areas where the ocean waters that have not been affected and therefore fish buyers and customers should not be afraid of buying quality fish being sold at the market.

“Normally huge fish stocks are bought by fish traders in the Colombo District and several other distant areas from the Central Fish Market every day, but the recent incident prevented them from purchasing fish since they are still of the view that the fish sold at the Fish Market are not suitable for consumption,” he said.

He said that if the Government makes an announcement on the fishing ban in the affected ocean areas, the daily sales at the Central Fish Market would become normal and traders would purchase fish without any fear.

“We can assure that fishing activities are not done in these affected areas now and the fish is brought to the main market from other areas where the sea water is not mixed with debris of the damaged ship,” Chairman Wickramaratchchi said.

However, large stocks of fish are still uninterruptedly brought to the Central Fish Market from outstation harbours except from the affected coastal areas.

PCFM Chairman Wickramarachchi also said that the fishing community in the affected areas are lamenting that their fishing nets are getting damaged entangled with the rubble mixed with chemicals in the ocean waters and requested authorities to provide them with financial assistance to buy fishing nets.

He said that without purchasing new fishing nets, thousands of fishermen in the affected areas cannot engage in their livelihood even after lifting the fishing ban.