Saturday, 18 June 2011

MALNUTRITION: Sri Lanka: Eradicating malnutrition through more fish production

 11 June 2011 :  Kusal Chamath

The Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Rajitha Senaratne said the World Health Organisation had informed that 21 per cent of the Sri Lankan population was suffering from malnutrition and protein deficiency, and advised to reduce it at least to 12 per cent. Addressing a ceremony to declare open the extended southern breakwater of the Moratumodara Fishery Harbour in Panadura on Thursday (9) he said his plan was to eradicate malnutrition instead of reducing it to 12 per cent as advised by the WHO and that the only way to achieve that target was to increase fish production. The minister also said:

“The project costing Rs.300 million was funded by the Japanese government and completed in a short time of six months. My ministry has plans to develop all fishery harbours in the country by the end of 2013. The only way to meet the increasing demand for fish and to reduce malnutrition was to boost the Fisheries Industry which is one of the main sources of the state income today. The industry’s contribution to the county’s economy was 2 per cent in 2010. This has increased to 18 per cent this year and it augurs well for the future of the industry.”

The old breakwater at the Moratumodara Fishery Harbour caused obstructions to the launching and anchoring of fishing craft and the need to extend it had been felt for a long time. The gap in the breakwater had created a death trap where several fishing craft capsized causing the deaths of fishermen. The fisherfolk had made repeated requests to the authorities to extend the breakwater to prevent the recurrence of similar incitements.
The Chinese Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Yang Xing Ping, the Managing Director of the China Harbour Corporation Sun Le Dong, Chairman of the Fishery Harbour Corporation, Amal Sendhilankara, Chairman of the Panadura Urban Council Nandana Gunatilleka, and several local politicians were present at the occasion.

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