Published on: March 13, 2024

Multi-Day Fishing Trawler with Advanced Technology Poised to Transform the Industry

  • Emergency Plan to Bring ‘Lorenzo Putha-4’ Fishermen to Sri Lanka – State Minister of Fisheries Piyal Nishantha de Silva.

State Minister of Fisheries, Piyal Nishantha de Silva, announced plans to launch a new multi-day fishing trawler equipped with modern technology and advanced operational techniques to enhance the fishing industry.

The State Minister further stated that President Ranil Wickremesinghe has instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, via the Attorney General, to facilitate the swift repatriation of the fishermen aboard the “Lorenzo Putha-4” fishing vessel back to Sri Lanka.

These statements were made by the State Minister during a press briefing held at the Presidential Media Centre today (13), focusing on the theme “Collective Path to a Stable Country”.

Expressing his views further State Minister Piyal Nishantha de Silva said;

“Efforts have been undertaken to safeguard the quality of fish products as part of the on-going development of the fishing industry. However, challenges have arisen due to the rising fuel costs and the increased prices of fishing equipment, impacting the income of the fishing community. Nonetheless, it is worth noting that measures are being implemented to mitigate these challenges and improve the situation for the fishing community.

A committee comprising experts is actively planning the necessary initiatives to introduce a modern multi-day fishing trawler equipped with advanced technology and operational methods tailored for the fishing industry. Upon completion of the planning phase, production of the new fishing trawler will commence. The primary objective is to ensure a sustainable fishing industry through effective management of fishing resources and inputs.

Additionally, the World Food Organization (WFO) has initiated several pilot projects. Among these initiatives is the development of a new trawler under the Ocean Freight Replenishment Program (OFRP), designed in collaboration with the World Food Organization to align with changing times and incorporate climate change and alternative technologies.

Moreover, discussions have taken place between our ministry, President Ranil Wickremesinghe, and relevant institutions regarding the introduction of mechanical boats and boats utilizing solar technology, emphasizing a commitment to embracing environmentally friendly and sustainable practices.

Furthermore, with support from the Australian Government, a fishing vessel monitoring system has been implemented for multi-day fishing trawlers in our country. Currently, the system has been installed on 2350 multi-day fishing trawlers, with plans to cover all 4200 targeted fishing vessels by the end of the first quarter of next year, enhancing monitoring and management capabilities in the fishing industry.

Currently, there are on-going efforts at the research level to forecast fishing grounds using vessel observation data. The necessary analysis software has already been developed, and plans are in place to integrate this fishing ground forecasting service once the fishing vessel monitoring system becomes fully operational next year.

Additionally, preparations are underway to update the Fisheries Act and introduce a new Act to replace the existing Fisheries Act of 1996. This initiative reflects a proactive approach to adapt to changing times and address emerging challenges. It is anticipated that the new legislation will include stringent measures to combat illegal fishing activities.

Moreover, diplomatic discussions are being conducted between countries to develop a comprehensive action plan aimed at addressing various issues plaguing the fishing industry, demonstrating a commitment to finding sustainable solutions through international cooperation.

Furthermore, discussions have taken place between the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Sri Lanka Navy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the situation involving the “Lorenzo Putha-4” vessel. The legal procedures are being conducted in accordance with the laws of Seychelles. President Ranil Wickremesinghe has instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through the Attorney General, to expedite the legal proceedings in Seychelles and facilitate the repatriation of the fishermen to Sri Lanka at the earliest opportunity.


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