A agreement with board of Investment(BOI) and a Chines fishing company has raised tension among fisher communities in Sri Lanka and India. A Chinese company has been granted permission to engage in fishing under the Sri Lankan flag beyond the Exclusive Economic Zone of Sri Lanka.
Recently upgraded Dikowita fisheries harbor which is said to be the largest fishing harbor in South Asia, providing facilities to the Chinese fishing vessels. So far its serving for 4 vessels and in near future it will increase up to 20 fishing vessels each long 150 ft.
Fishing communities saying, this would impact the availability of fish for the catches of fishermen in Sri Lanka, India and Maldives. Local fishing unions and fishers claim that the Chinese are already fishing within the EEZ of Sri Lanka.
Negombo, Sri Vimukthi Fisher women organization conducted a protest march against the permit of China company to sweep clean the fisheries resources of our region. During protest march they submit letters to Deputy Fisheries Director in Negombo and superintendent of Police, Negombo mentioning the relevant issues and what people expect from them.
After the Protest march, fisher women organization conducted a press briefing on the issues.
A fisher women leader mentioned that, while foreign fishing vessels destroying our resources in the sea, coastal resources including coastal environment destroying by intensive development activities in constructions and tourism.
Negombo lagoon which provide livelihood to more than 3000 fisher families directly, under the threat of resource depletion due to pollution and destruction of the environment.
The protest was conducted in 11 Sep and about 200 fisher women participated.