Honorable Minister of Fisheries Douglas Devananda and Hon. State Minister of Fisheries Piyal Nishantha Perera had initiated a programme with the support of government of India and the Ministry of Fisheries Sri Lanka to receive technical assistance from Indian experts to develop the aquaculture and fisheries sector of Sri Lanka. The programme involves a team of three Indian delegates from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), India who have recently traveled around Sri Lanka to meet various offices, farmers and stakeholders to identify possible areas where they can provide technical support to develop the sector.
A team of scientists from ICAR, Dr. Shubhadeep Ghosh; Assistant Director General Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Dr. Boby Ignatius; Principal Scientist, CMFRI, Dr. Ritesh Ranjan; Senior Scientist, CMFRI and team of scientists from NARA have accompanied to the mission to identify suitable areas with potential to develop fisheries and mariculture sector. They have visited the South, North-west, North, North-East and East coasts of Sri Lanka from 22nd September to 3rd October 2023. During the field trip they have identified some sites for open water fish farming in cages, suitable locations to establishing hatcheries for multi-species of finfish and non-finfish species as well as suitable places for establish fish feed factories. Also the scientists paid special attention to the Regional Research Centers of NARA in Panapitiya and Kapparathota with view to develop on regional requirements. Apart from that they also visited some ornamental fish farms, shrimp farms and mud crab farms as well as areas in where seaweeds and sea cucumber are grown successfully during that trip. Additional research will be undertaken pertaining to the initial excursion carried out within these pilot initiatives. Subsequently, essential determinations regarding fresh prospects will be made in the future following an extensive deliberation with the support of Indian Scientists.