Special discussion addresses many issues of affected fishermen | Daily News
X-Press Pearl Vessel incident:

Special discussion addresses many issues of affected fishermen

Minister Douglas Devananda and State Ministers Kanchana Wijesekera and Nimal Lanza at the discussion.
Minister Douglas Devananda and State Ministers Kanchana Wijesekera and Nimal Lanza at the discussion.

A special discussion was held on Saturday at the Negombo Town Hall under the patronage of Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda to resolve problems of the fishing community affected by the X-Press Pearl ship incident and inform the fishing community about the decisions by the Government in this regard.

Fisheries State Minister Kanchana Wijesekera and Rural Roads and Other Infrastructure State Minister Nimal Lanza were present.

Fisheries Societies from Palliyawatta, Wattala, Poratota and Negombo also participated.

The Minister said that the restricted areas will be released gradually and fishing in the Negombo Lagoon will not be hampered from today. He said that the NARA and the Atomic Energy Authority have confirmed that no oil or chemical has been leaked from the ship. He said that the area is now designated as no entry zone, as it could cause damage to fishermen, fishing vessels and equipment due to the ship wreckage.

The representatives from the fisheries societies were told that the coastal and ocean clean-up operations are being carried out to ensure safe fishing. The Negombo Lagoon and the Hamilton Canal are being cleaned now, they were told.

Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda said that the President and the Prime Minister have instructed to take swift steps to uplift the affected fishing community. Following their instructions, compensation will be paid soon for the affected. District secretaries have been instructed to provide a Rs. 5,000 allowance from today. A decision has been made to set a fixed price for fishing gear and equipment, the Minister said.

Ornamental Fish, Inland Fish and Prawn Farming, Fishery Harbour Development, Multi-day Fishing Activities and Fish Export State Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said that the people should not be afraid of consuming fish as it has not yet been scientifically proven that consuming fish causes illnesses. He said that compensation for the damage caused by the ship is being evaluated by the Justice Ministry and the Attorney General's Department. If there is a problem with the sale of fish, the Fisheries Corporation will directly intervene to buy them from the fishermen, he said. The Peliyagoda fish Market and the 22 Fishing Harbours have been prepared in this regard, the State Minister said. Nearly 2,000 kilograms of fish had been bought from the Peliyagoda Fish Market and nearly 9,000 kilograms from other places, he said. Retail sales will not be allowed due to travel restrictions and wholesale and mobile trade will not be banned, the State Minister said. Nearly 23 fishing related fields have been affected so far and the Government will take steps to provide relief to the fishing community, he said

Rural Roads and Other Infrastructure State Minister Nimal Lanza said that the discussion was successful. Many problems of the fishing community were resolved at the discussion, he said. Although the the people near the coast consume fish, the people in the middle of the country are resultant to buy fish, he said. The Fisheries Ministry has assured no harm in consuming fish, he said. Necessary decisions will be made in the future in consultation with the President and the Prime Minister to provide relief to the fishing community, he said. Damage from the ship, natural disasters and rising oil prices pose a major problem for those who contribute to the country's production. Therefore, the Fisheries Ministry will formulate a system in consultation with the President and the Prime Minister to address these issues soon, he said.

Negombo Mayor Dayan Lanza, Fisheries Ministry Secretary Indu Fernando, Fisheries Department Director General Susantha Kahawatta and the Negombo Divisional Secretary were present.

 


There is 1 Comment

Add new comment