China & Thailand in race to capture Sri Lanka’s fisheries resources

The entrance of the Galle Fave Hotel, Colombo,...

The entrance of the Galle Fave Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thailand and China are interested in Sri Lanka‘s fisheries resources, with China, already establishing a presence. Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne yesterday invited the Thai Government and its private sector to be stake holders in Sri Lankan’s fisheries sector. Delivering the keynote address as Chief Guest at the inauguration of the Second Joint Fishery Working Group Meeting at the Gall Face Hotel, the minister said that “the relationship between Sri Lanka and Thailand has a long history and having a commercial agreement between the fisheries sectors of the two countries will help to make it more strong while strengthening bilateral bonds among us”. “At present, China has agreed to deploy their large vessels in the Indian Ocean under the Sri Lankan flag and conduct their fishing activities through Sri Lankan fisheries harbours. This will help Sri Lanka and Thailand have a good fish harvest and good income,”Minister Senaratne. “The Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry is making arrangements to achieve its aim of having an annual fish harvest around 685,000 metric tons by 2015. Making joint efforts will also help to improve this target,” the minister explained. Thailand’s Fisheries Department Director General Dr. Vimol said Sri Lanka’s fisheries sector has developed rapidly since the end of the three decade old terrorist war and also expressed great pleasure in been afforded the opportunity to work with Sri Lankan fisheries sector. According to Minister Senaratne, the first joint fishery working group meeting was held in March 2007 and the second one was held six years later. The minister hoped that the third meeting would be held soon and proposed to the Thailand delegation, that this meeting be held once in every six months in the future. The second Joint Fishery Working Group Meeting which will be held till tomorrow at the Galle Face Hotel will discuss the new proposals presented by Sri Lanka and Thailand during this three day meeting. Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Deputy Minister Sarath Kumara Gunaratne, Ministry Secretary Dr.Dissanayake, Chairmen of National Aquaculture Development Authority (NAQDA), National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA), Ceylon Fisheries Corporation, Private sector stake holders and officials from the External Affairs Ministry were also present at this meeting. (Source)

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