GoSL decides to set up fish farm in nature reserve
In a joint proposal between the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry and the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Wildlife, the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) plans to set up a fish farm within a section of the Vedithalathivu Natural Reserveas part of efforts to raise income from fisheries products export to USD 1.3 billion by 2020.
The Cabinet recently approved the proposal to redraw the borders of the 29,180-hectare reserve by removing the land identified for the fish farm project.
According to Co-Cabinet spokesperson, Minister of Land and Parliamentary Reforms Gayantha Karunathilaka, an Aquaculture Industrial Estate covering 1,491 hectares in the Vedithalathivu Reserve that had been planned for Manthai, Mannar made it difficult to implement the project.
The Department of Wildlife Conservation states that the Vedithalathivu Reserve is the largest nature reserve in the Sri Lanka listed under its “Protected Area” system. It is followed by Triconamadu which covers 25,019 hectares.
According to the department there is no public access to view wild life in nature reserves but under the department’s supervision scientific studies can be undertaken, adding that the main difference between nature reserves, protected areas and strict natural reserves is that in nature reserves “… traditional human activities” are allowed to continue.
The setting up of fish farms will allow interested persons to seek plots to establish their breeding programmes. This initiative will hopefully give rise to innovative breeding methods that will help yield more fish. Also, value addition endeavours may also flourish under such conditions.
|Article Code :