Stakeholder meeting on SLNPOA-IUU
Stakeholder meeting on National Plan of Actions to combat IUU fishing (SLNPOA-IUU) was held on 30th December 2015. All relevant parties who are involving in the management of High seas management Activities were participated for the above meeting which was chaired by Mr. MCL Fernando, Director General of Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. Number of decisions including adding an updated way forward section to the NOPA-IUU as per the recommendations provided by EU technical team who visited Sri Lanka on early November this year.
Approval for the following daft plans were also provided by the Committee
- National Inspection Plan-2016
- National Observer and alternative observer inspection plan - 2016
- Port Inspection Plan -2016
- National Awareness plan - 2016
- It was also decided to continue with the current fleet development plan with targets set up to year 2017 without any changes
- A special training to NAVY and Coast guard officers on species identification will be provided as a part of the awareness programme of DFAR
- Responsibilities and objectives of the District Coordination Unit on High seas management were also discussed. These committees will be function from the January 2016
Training of the FMC staff (VMS center) Completed
The main VMS center also known as the FMC (Fisheries Monitoring Center) is now fully functional and Sri Lankan Authorities are now able to monitor all vessels with VMS transponders through a highly sophisticated but user friendly system.
First step of the training of the FMC staff is completed on 12th June 2015 covering the key members of the staff who will be having the admin and power user powers of the system. Training was initiated after a inauguration held at the FMC center with the participation of the State Secretary of the fisheries ministry and the Director General of the Department of Fisheries on 9th June 2015. You can see some of the photos taken during the training process below.
Location, speed, states of the crossing boundaries, fishing type and fishing duration of any boat engage with the system can now be tracked. These information will be used for the data verification system which will compare the log book data and the VMS track data before issuing the catch certificates of a particular boat.
VMS system was started with a web based system as a trail for 50 boats. Number of boats engaged in the main system is 150 so far. It is expected to cover about 400 vessels by the end of July and the project will be completed after fitting 1500 boats on September 2015.
Installation of Vessel Monitoring System is On Going
Fisheries Minister Mr. Mahinda Amaraweera stated that actions will be taken to relieve the ban imposed by the EU for fish exports from Sri Lanka by fulfilling the requirement of the EU by the end of the year.
Minister stated this at the occasion for installation of Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) for multiday fishing boats held at the Dikkowita Fisheries Harbour on 27th April 2015.
The Minister further stated that, EU has banned our fish exports and the main reason for this is our fishermen engaging in fishing activities in international waters without sanction. EU has raised number of requirements to be fulfilled by us. Now we have taken action to install the VMS which is main requirement among them.
Actions are also being taken to make aware the fishers regarding the matters to be followed in the high seas fishing and we are expected to take actions against the persons who engage in illegal fishing activities as due to these fishers who engage in illegal fishing the fishers who are engaging in fishing in compliance with the law are facing great difficulties. Always we are seeking to introduce new technologies to our fishers and to protect their lives. Also we hope to provide facilities required to take the fish catch to the land in good quality.
Booklets on Responsible fishing at High Seas
Two booklets were published by the Department of Fisheries under the awareness programme on High seas fisheries. Aim of these booklets is to aware the boat owners, skippers, officers and other relevant parties on the technology, requirements, legal conditions and ethics applicable on fishing at international waters.
Booklets were printed on both Sinhalese and Tamil languages and been distributed among the target audience.
English versions (Translations) of these booklets will be released to this web site soon