A team of scientists from the National Aquatic Resources Development and Research Authority
(NARA) in a recent meeting with Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda told the
Minister that they have been forced to stop ongoing research projects due to severe fuel shortage and lack of resource facilities.
They said that under these circumstances, they were unable to provide the research data to be used to modernize and improve the country’s fishing industry, including value addition, improved fish catches, modernization of fishing vessels and fishing gear, expansion of fish and other seafood exports.
Addressing the scientists, Minister Devananda said that in addition to the fuel crisis, the public is abstaining from consuming fish due to the high prices of fish and seafood, which can lead to malnutrition. He urged experts to do all they can to find ways to improve production using less fuel and other alternative methodologies. He admitted that the proposed fishing industry development projects were not feasible without an advanced and updated research database.
NARA scientists requested the minister to establish research centers regarding the fishing industry and the development of aquatic culture in the northern and eastern provinces. They argued that in addition to the current fuel crisis, the gaps in the implementation of research for the expansion of the fishing industry will be overcome by using local resources.
Minister Devananda, responding to the proposals and requests submitted by NARA scientists, emphasized that despite the challenges, the institute will work with utmost dedication to introduce and promote advanced fisheries and aquatic resources development projects. to achieve two goals – earning foreign exchange and ensuring the sustainable empowerment of people’s livelihoods. fishing community.