Data loading...

Sri Lanka Provides Harbor To Chinese Tuna Fleet Sri Lanka, June 19, 13

In a move delicately endangering local fishing of the peoples of entire southern South Asia, the Rajapaksa Establishment in Colombo has provided facilities of a state-of-the-art fishing harbor near Colombo and State endorsement to Chinese vessels fishing beyond the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Sri Lanka’s waters. A Chinese fishing company has been graced with the rights to ply its tuna fishing vessels with the flag of the State in Sri Lanka and to use the facilities of the Dikovita fishing harbor. While the government in Colombo would get paltry benefits, shoals of tuna and other fish would be caught exploited in the no-country zones or high seas, before they come to within the EEZ’s of the countries of South Asia, affecting the livelihood of not only Tamils, Malayalis and Maldivians but also the Sinhalese.
Nowadays, with satellite tracking facilities, shoals of fishes are easily identified in the no-country waters and are exploited by certain countries.
Tuna catch in the Maldives has been heavily affected in the recent decades by such pilfering takes place in the waters beyond the so-called Exclusive Economic Zones. Maldives now imports canned Tuna from outside to meet local consumption requirements.
The exploitation in the no-country – high seas - waters by certain countries could escalate manifold if they get ground facilities close-by to unload the catch, to process and to export.
According to the agreement signed by the Board of Investment of the Rajapaksa Establishment with the Chinese company, 90 per cent of the catch will go to China after storage and processing at the Dikovita fishing harbour. Sri Lanka’s Fisheries Corporation will get only 10 per cent of the catch, that too for a payment of one dollar (around 130 Sri Lankan rupees) per kilogram. The price doesn’t differ much from the wholesale price of local catch.
Four Chinese vessels displaying Sri Lankan flags will be operated in the fishing starting from this month and the vessels, now anchored south of the island, are waiting for Colombo defense ministry’s clearance, The Sunday Times reported this week.
The Chinese company would deploy16 more 150-ft boats, the report further said.
The construction of the Dikovita fishing harbor near Colombo city in the Wattala division of Gampaha district was started in early 2009 and was completed in January 2013. Colombo media reports boast that it is the largest fisheries harbor in the region.
The Chinese vessels using a port at such a location means that the fishing ‘beyond Sri Lanka’s EEZ’ will have a bearing on the fish schools coming to the Maldives, Laccadives, South India especially Kerala, and also the island called Sri Lanka.