By Shezna Shums
The National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) is to come up with a strategic plan to manage and survey underwater wrecks and other under water sites of cultural and historical importance.
Shipwrecks are considered as the heritage of the nation, representing historical, cultural and archeological value and very old wrecks are a major attraction for underwater photographers.
Divers and tourists value such preserved areas and are attractions to tourists involved in under water activities.
NARA is the Government Institution responsible for the management, development and conservation of Aquatic Resources.
On a proposal made by the Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, cabinet approval was granted for the preparation of a long term broad based management plan for Sri Lanka’s maritime wrecks and underwater cultural heritage, based on a thorough survey to be carried out by NARA and in association with the Ministries of Economic Development, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development, Environment and National Heritage.
One of NARA’s objectives is to improve the development, management and conservation of aquatic resources in the inland waters, coastal wetlands and off-shore areas.