Action has been taken to identify areas with strong concentration of Blue Swimming Crabs ( Boatunes pelagikos) in the guise of research and then granting license to southern companies exclusively to harvest the crabs, the Island Sector Fishermen societies accused.
They say that with the assistance of the department of Fisheries and Aqua resources, researches were made to identify the BSC concentration areas in the guise of research and then Licenses were granted at ministry level for southern companies to catch BSC while local fishermen were prevented through various techniques, like preserving the species.
Now the same type of research is being undertaken in Island sector seas covertly. Southern giants have started to eye the livelyhood of Island Sector fishermen.
The Officials of the Department of Fisheries – NP are lethargic in taking action to prevent this illegal fishing, they said.
A background study
This is not a recent problem. About a year ago a Sinhala youth claiming to be an undergraduate on a research mission for his dissertation. He had in his hand an instruction sheet the instructions went on something like this :
Meet local fishermen – Identify yourself as a University undergraduate interested in BSC- request their cooperation to show BSC concentration areas – invite them to show you the locations – With GPS plot the location on the supplied map.
There after the fishermen were induced (may be with money) to help plotting the areas .
Thereafter Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP) took over and had drafted laws of controlling the fishing of BSC – so called Voluntary Code of conduct for BSC Fishing.
FIP is supported by NARA. Private Sea Food giant Tabrobane Sea Food Limited which had provided 43% of the expenditure of FIP.
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