National Fisheries Solidarity conducted a series of consultation meeting with fisher communities in 12 coasta districts around the country and 3 inland districts with freshwater fisher communities. Insted of conducting just a consultation meeting with professionals on fisheries policy NAFSO facilitated to form a forum which will guide and contribute twards the development, establishment and implimentation of a national fisheries policy while contributing towards incorporating recomendations of the FAO Voluntery Guidelines to relevent national legislation, policies, strategies as well as to programmes and activities of CSOs/NGOs.
The meeting was conducted in University of Kelaniya with professionals, acedemics, civil society memberes to initiate Small Scale Fisheries Forum of Sri Lanka.
Professor Oscar Amarasinghe from University of Ruhuna giving introduction to the program mentioned that the openions of all levels are very importent to protect the fisheries sector as one of the major part in a country's food security and powerty aleviation mechanism. Already 114 international instruments are related to fisheries in place but no body knows or no body concerns about them. Voluntery Guidelines for Small Scale Fisheries by FAO alraedy is in place to guide governments to protect sustainable small scale fisheries and Sri Lankan governmaent has started to develop a national fisheries policy we will have to incorporate those guidelines to local policies to protect the resouces sustaina;aly and serve the communities.
Director of fisheries, Mr. Hettiarachchi said that the fisheries policy will be submitted to the Parliament befor end of March and efor that has to approved by the cabinet. if cabinet alow us to extend more time for public comments we will be able to give more time for it. on 22nd of february there will be a meeting with professionals to discuss about public comments to incorporate in to the national fisheries policy, he added.