The Government has lifted all restrictions that were imposed on fishing in the seas around the island due to LTTE terrorism, the Defence Ministry announced.
Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne has said that according to the Defence Ministry the sea will now be free of restrictions except for areas where landmines have not yet been removed.
The Defence Ministry’s decision resulted from a discussion held between Minister Senaratne and the Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, early last week. The measure has made the territorial waters around the country free and open for fishing.
The Defence Ministry has also agreed to release 141 fishing boats with 40 HP engines held in their custody to the Fisheries Ministry.
The Minister has said the use of fishing boats with 40 HP engines is now allowed. “This is the first time the government has lifted the ban on fishing boats with 40 HP engines. We expect a good harvest this time,” the Minister was quoted as saying.
The Fisheries Ministry hopes the fish harvest of the southern fishermen would be better after the removal of the restrictions. (Colombo page)