News

Second Institute of Oceanography of China Hands-on for strengthening R/V Samuddrika’s Capacity for Oceanographic Research and Survey

As per the memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between NARA and Second Institute of Oceanography (SIO) China in 2017, to conduct a Joint oceanographic expedition, on board training of NARA scientific staff, Joint post-cruise data/lab analysis and bring out several scientific publications already completed. Now both esteemed institutions agreed to carry out research on Ecosystem and marine environment monitoring program in Sri Lanka Coastal waters using R/V Samuddrika; the only marine research platform of Sri Lanka. Here, SIO will provide financial assistance for state of Art oceanographic instruments, weather buoys and sediment trap moorings together with technical support to mount the instruments, data acquisition and processing.

Recently, high ranked officers from SIO lead by Professor Li Hua Ran visited NARA to finalize the list of equipment requirement and fund allocation for R/V Samuddrika’s operation for future surveys. This collaborative approach will enhance capacity of the marine research and survey activities of R/V Samuddrika which is a requirement for addressing climate change issues and other maritime resource surveys.

Chirman; Dr. Nimal Kumarasinghe, Director General; Dr. T.D.K.D. Tennakoon, Deputy Director General; Dr. (Ms.) G.  Ganegama Arachchi, Project Coordinator; Dr. (Ms.) W.N.C. Priyadarshani and several other officers representing technical divisions have participated to this event on behalf of NARA.

NARA New Regional Research Center For Northern Province

A new Regional Research Center of the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) is established on April 05, 2024 at Thelikarei, in Poonaryn Divisional Secretariat in ​​Kilinochchi district. The idea of initiate this center is for conservation, management and development of the aquatic resources sector in the Northern Province in order to get maximum economic benefits to the country.

The Minister of Fisheries Hon. Douglas Devananda, Vanni District Member of Parliament Hon. Thilipan, representatives of the Northern Provincial Councils, District Secretaries of Mannar and Kilinochchi Districts, Additional District Secretary of Jaffna District, Northern Commander NAVY, Rear Admiral K.S.B. Banagoda, Divisional Secretary of Poonaryn DS Division, Governing Board members of NARA, Additional Directors of Department of Fisheries and NAQDA in the Northern Province, Officers from  Forest, Wildlife, Coast Conservation Department  belong to Districts of Mannar, Kilinochchi and Jaffna, representatives from University of  Jaffna and Ocean University branch of Jaffna, were graced this occasion.

Chairman, Dr. Nimal Kumarasinghe, Director General, T.D.K.D. Tennakoon, Deputy Director General Research & Development, Dr. G. Ganegama Arachchi, Governing Board Members of NARA, Mrs. Meegahakotuwa and Mr. Aravindan,   and Head of the all Technical and non-Technical Divisions, Scientists and other supporting staff, have participated to this event on behalf of the NARA.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) join hand with NARA for Capacity Building and Provide Technical Equipment

The National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) have been carried out monitoring programme to evaluate the environmental damage caused due to the fire of the X-Press Pearl ship since 2021. As this was the first experience that NARA Scientists experienced, they often had to rely on external facilities for their experiments and analyses due to there were no state-of-the-art laboratory facilities within the NARA as well as in the country to analyze all the parameters required to evaluate the environmental damage, therefore had to get foreign laboratory support frequently. Meanwhile, NARA submitted a project proposal to Asian Development Bank (ADB) seeking assistance for capacity building and infra-structure development. The ADB recognized that the importance of NARA's work on study of ship damage and agreed to provide funding and technical assistance for the project. Accordingly, with ADB and Scripps Institute in the United States of America support, NARA was able to implement their capacity building and infrastructure development initiatives, leading to significant improvements in their environmental damage monitoring programme. Prof. Uwe Send and Prof. Lihini Aluwihare, representing the Scripps Institute, contributed as resource persons of these workshops. The ADB programme was ended recently, being provided the necessary field and laboratory equipment to the NARA Head Office and Regional Research Centers for the formal conduct of the relevant research activities. Prof. Uwe and Prof. Aluwihare, representing the Scripps Institute and Z. A. M. Azmi, National Co-ordinator of the ADB-Scripps Project, have participated to the equipment handing over event while Dr. T.D.K.D. Tennakoon, Director General, NARA Dr. K.W.S.S. Weerasekara, Head, Environmental Studies Division, Dr. W.N.C. Priyadarshani, Head, Fishing Technology Division and NARA Scientists were grace this occasion

China Academy of Sciences (CAS) Hands-on for Strengthening NARA’s Marine Data Collection System

Since 2019, the China Academy of Sciences (CAS) has been steadfastly supporting NARA's marine data collection efforts through a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). This collaboration underscores CAS's commitment to advancing oceanic research and highlights NARA's dedication to enhancing marine data acquisition. Together, they are forging new pathways for scientific exploration and understanding of our Indian ocean.

The collaboration between the China Academy of Sciences and NARA to strengthen the marine data collection system is a significant step towards enhancing our understanding of marine ecosystems and promoting sustainable ocean management. By combining their expertise and resources, these two esteemed institutions can work together to improve data collection methods, enhance data accuracy, and expand research capabilities in marine sciences. This partnership has the potential to lead to valuable insights, innovative solutions, and informed decision-making in the field of marine research.

Recreantly, high ranked officers from CAS lead by Mr. Yaping Zhang, Vice President of CAS visited NARA to discuss the future collaborative effort and look forward to the positive impact it will have on advancing the knowledge of the oceans and supporting conservation efforts. Meanwhile, this discussion they paid special attention to the inauguration ceremony and future operation works of newly built Sea Level Monitoring Station at Dondra by which CAS provided financial support.

Chairman, Dr. Nimal Kumarasinghe, Director General, T.D.K.D. Tennakoon, Deputy Director General Research & Development, Dr. G. Ganegama Arachchi and several other Officers representing technical divisions, have participated to this event on behalf of the NARA.

NARA initiative Collaboration Work with National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), France

The CNRS, or the National Center for Scientific Research, is indeed the largest fundamental research organization in France and plays a crucial role in bringing together all scientific disciplines under its umbrella. By encompassing a wide range of fields such as physics, chemistry, biology, humanities, and social sciences, the CNRS fosters interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation. This comprehensive approach allows researchers from different backgrounds to work together, exchange ideas, and address complex scientific challenges collectively. The CNRS's commitment to supporting diverse disciplines contributes to the advancement of knowledge and the development of groundbreaking research across various fields. It's truly a remarkable organization that promotes collaboration and excellence in scientific research. This is why the CNRS encourages the sciences to come together in a dialogue that also includes stakeholders from wider society.

Mr. Srini V. Kaveri, representative based in Delhi of the CNRS,  Ms. Aurélie Vollerin, Attachée for Cooperation and Education of the French Embassy and  Olivia Bellemere - Conseillère de Coopération et d’Action Culturelle/ Cultural & Cooperation Counsellor attached to French Embassy, Sri Lanka recently visited NARA with object to build up collaboration with purview to above objectives.

Mr. Kaveri, pointed out that by pooling together diverse expertise and resources, organizations like CNRS and NARA can work together to develop innovative solutions, conduct cutting-edge research, and make a meaningful impact on a global scale. This collaborative approach can lead to new insights, breakthroughs, and advancements in various fields, ultimately contributing to a more sustainable and resilient future. He encouraged NARA to explore this collaboration further and leverage the strengths of both organizations to tackle pressing global issues effectively.

Chairman, Dr. Nimal Kumarasinghe Director General, T.D.K.D. Thennakoon, Deputy Director General Research & Development, Dr. G. Ganegama Arachchi and several other Officers representing technical divisions have participated to this event on behalf of the NARA.

Launch of Sea Level Monitoring Station at Dondra Fisheries Harbour

A newly constructed sea level monitoring station was inaugurated on March 26, 2024. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was jointly presided over by Dr. Nimal Kumarasinghe, Chairman of the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) and Dr. Yaping Zhang, Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). The event was attended by Dr. Kamal Thennakoon, Director-General of NARA, department heads, as well as Professor Weigiang Wang, Executive Director of the China-Sri Lanka Joint Center for Research and Education (CSL-CER), University of Ruhuna alongside other officials.

This station was established to strengthen the capabilities of ocean observation in the southern tip of the country, aligning with the objectives of the United Nations’ Ocean Decade 2030, particularly Challenge 7: Expand the Global Ocean Observing System for Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

The functionality of the centre fully automated with capability of collect, stove temporary, and transmits data to the head office of NARA via the local communication system by extending existing sea level monitoring network of the country.

The fundamental data collected by these stations can be applied for: Development of coastal infrastructure such as harbours, Jetty, Port cities, breakwater, wastewater management, coastal low laying agricultural land use planning, river mouth management, salt water intrusion, coastal flood, policy planners of disaster management, hydrographical survey, and validating oceanic models. The real-time and near-real-time data are utilized for the prevention and mitigation of ocean-based disasters such as tsunamis, meteo-tsunami, storm surges, and cyclones. Time series data on sea level are useful for quantification of local and regional sea level rise, and seasonal variations with in-depth assessments in relation to the effects of climate change, and phenomena such as El Nino and La-Nino. 

Technical Discussion on Ocean Science for Sustainable Development

A technical discussion was conducted on 13th March, 2024 at the NARA boardroom with Scientists from the First Institute of Oceanography (FIO), The Republic of China (ROC), and the Scientists of NARA lead by Dr. Nimal Kumarasinghe, Chairman of NARA. During the session, there were several presentations given by both NARA and FIO scientists regarding the global challenges that are currently being faced. These presentations provided valuable insights and information that will aid in the ongoing efforts to address these challenges.

Dr. Dejun DAI, Senior Scientist, Laboratory of Marine Science and Numerical Modeling, conducted a presentation on ‘Climate Disaster Prevention and Reduction System.’ During his presentation, he highlighted that the United Nations’ Ocean Decade 2030, Challenge 7: Expand the Global Ocean Observing System for Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

Dr. Chengjun SUN, Director, Marine Bio-resource and Environment Research Center, shared his thought on ‘Marine Ecosystem Health and Micro-plastic Pollution Mitigation.’ Mrs. Kishara Bandaranayake, Senior Scientist, Marine Biological Resources Division, shared findings on ‘Ecosystem Health Management and Marine Ecosystem whil ’ Mr. Damith Perera, Scientist, NARA shared his findings on ‘Coastal Water Chemistry around Sri Lanka,’ K.W. Indika, Scientist NARA shared the importance and progress of Joint Research Investigation on ‘Sea Level and Early Warning System’ as an Island state country. Prof. Fangli QIAO, Deputy Director of First Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources, and former member of the Ocean Decade’s Executive Planning Group (2018-2021) and then Decade Advisory Board (2021-2023), explained potential collaboration for Ocean Science for sustainable development.

USAID Signs an Agreement with NARA on Fisheries Post Harvest Modernization and Resilient (FPMR)

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between USAID and NARA was signed recently, on Fisheries Post Harvest Modernization and Resilient (FPMR) Project under USAID – In Kind Grant (IKG) at NARA Head Office. It is evident that empowering the community with knowledge and skills is crucial for sustainable practices and growth in the fishing industry. With purview to this, the project aims to reduce the impacts of climatic changes on the Maldive fish and dried fish industries in Southern Province and ensure the steady production throughout the year. Development of a single unit for fish smoking and drying powered by biomass burning for Maldives fish production, dissemination of technical know-how to the fisher community through awareness & training programmes, disbursement of Maldives fish smoker & utensils for beneficiaries and establishment of proper marketing channel for the final products are the objectives of this project. Dr. N. Kumarasinghe (Chairman), Mr. S. Ariyarathne, Ms. P. Ginigaddarage (Senior Scientists of Institute of Post Harvest Technology (IPHT)) and Mr. Nick Hobgood (Chief of Party- Climate Adaptation Project) represented NARA and USAID respectively, for signing the MoU.

“NARA Junior Scientists” Fellowship Programme

Two day educational workshop for the NARA Junior Scientists’ fellowship programme was held on 4th and 5th March 2024 at the NARA auditorium. Fifty-six students and 11 teachers from 11 schools including Visakha Vidyalaya, Sirimavo Bandaranaike Vidyalaya, Gothami Balika Vidyalaya, Nalanda College, Mahanama College, Asoka Vidyalaya etc., took part in this event. The main objective of this workshop was to make students aware of the fellowship programme that is to be held for 9-month period, starting from April 2024. The planned two-day workshop was an abstract of the entire fellowship programme funded by the International Ocean Institute (IOI). Participated students were very keen on attending the planned lectures and field trip to the R/V ‘Samuddrika’ Research Vessel, and were actively engaging with the group activities they were assigned to. Overall the event was a success and received positive feedback from all students and the teachers. This educational programme was a resounding success, and the students were grateful for the opportunity to participate in such a enriching and fulfilling experience. They left the programme feeling inspired and motivated to continue their pursuit of knowledge and learning.

Dr. Nimal Kumarasinghe, Chairman, Dr. T.D.K.D. Tennakoon Director General, Dr. G. Ganegama Arachchi, Deputy Director General, Heads of the Technical divisions, Scientists were participate to this event representing NARA while Mr. Vipula Kulathunga, Deputy Director of Science Promotion Section was attend the programme representing Ministry of Education.

Rekawa Seabass Project

It is evident that operation and maintenance of effective fish farming system can increase the income of the fisher community. NARA has taken efforts to uplift the living standards of rural communities in the Rekawa lagoon area through sustainable use of coastal water resources and the establishment of sea bass cage farming with active community participation. The successful harvests of the first culture trial, with the fishes have reached sizes of 650 g – 750 g which is plateble size commonly served at hoteliers. This achievement is a testament to the hard work and dedication put into the project with both NARA Rekawa Regional Research Center (RRC) staff and the community. Regular monitoring of environmental parameters in the Rekawa lagoon was crucial for the success and sustainability of these efforts. As a result of that they were able to maintain the survival rate around 75%. This initiative not only promotes livelihood activities but also aims to achieve food security and improved nutrition in the riparian villages surrounding Rekawa lagoon. NARA expects to map productive zones of the lagoon for further expansion of the sea bass aquaculture in terms of productivity and nutrients.

New Chairman is appointed to NARA

Dr. Nimal Kumarasinghe, has officially assumed duties as the new Chairman of NARA today, 28th February, 2024. A brief ceremony was held at the Head office of NARA with the participation of State Minister of Fisheries Hon. Piyal Nishantha de Silva, Additional Secretary of Ministry of Fisheries Ms. Anusha Gokula Fernando, Dr. T.D.K.D. Tennakoon Director General, Heads of Divisions and other officials of NARA.

Dr.  Kumarasinghe, as a research scientist, has worked in various Government Research Institutes for 35 years, conducting and managing researches including Director, Sugarcane Research Institute, Chairman, Institute of Post-Harvest Technology, and Chairman, Sugarcane Research Institute. He was a consultant in the Faculty of Graduate Studies of the University of Sri Jayewardenapura and consultant Director of the Ministry of Minor Export Crop Promotion.  Also, he served on a number of national committees, including the Pesticide Technical Advisory Committee (Petac) and the National Species Conservation Committee of the Bio Diversity Secretariat. Dr. Kumarasinghe serve as a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society, SL Institute of Agriculture, the Afro Asian Society of Nematologists, and the Institute of Biology SL. Currently, I have been serving as the representative member of the Agriculture sector at the Executive Committee of the Organization of Professional Associations' (OPA), Council member at the Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL) and the Ocean University of Sri Lanka and the Board Member of the Post Graduate Institute of English in OUSL.

That is an impressive and extensive background and experience in the field of research and agriculture. Dr. Nimal Kumarasinghe's wealth of experience and involvement in various organizations and committees will surely be valuable in his new role as the chairman of NARA. His diverse expertise and contributions to the field will likely contribute to the growth and success of the organization.

NARA Cloak Day-2024

NARA Cloak Day, held on 24th of January 2024 in conjunction with Governing Board Day, was a ceremonious occasion marked by the distinguished presence of board members, division heads, scientists, and dedicated staff members. Participants gathered for group photos adorned in cloaks reflective of their academic achievements. Furthermore, all staff members were elegantly attired in formal dress, contributing to a sense of unity and dignity throughout the occasion. NARA Cloak Day made a big impact on everyone, making them feel proud and connected and it's something they'll remember for a long time.

Commencement of New Year Duties – 2024

The staff of the National Aquatic Resource Research and Development Agency (NARA) began their duties for the year 2024 under the guidance of the Director General of NARA at the NARA premises this morning, on the 1st of January 2024.

Project for Establishment of National Oceans and Fisheries Digital Data Center at NARA of Sri Lanka

For the successful promotion of the project on ‘Establishment of National Oceans and Fisheries Data Center at NARA of Sri Lanka’ which will be supported by the Korean government’s ODA (Official Development Assistance) project, the preparatory status survey was conducted in Colombo, Sri Lanka recently, to discuss the project overview and work sharing plans related to the project performance between the Korean government delegates and NARA Scientists’.

The Korean delegates for the event were Mr. Sung Dae Kim & Tae Hoon Kim from Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST), Mr. Hyun Yeong KIM from Oceans & Fisheries ODA Network and Mr. Tae Yoon Song from Haebom Data Inc. On behalf of the NARA, Prof. M.J.S. Wijeyaratna, the Chairman along with T.D.K.D. Thennakoon, the Director General, Dr. G. J. Ganegama Arachchi, the Deputy Director General (Research & Development), and other Principal and Senior Scientists representing relevant technical divisions, actively participated in the event.

The Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST) will give the technical support for strengthening marine and fisheries research capabilities by establishing research infrastructure and nurturing related experts through the establishment of the Sri Lanka Oceans and Fisheries Digital Data Center and e-library. The project purposes are;

- Improvement of various institutional conditions for the development of oceans and fisheries data center in Sri Lanka.

- Support the establishment of the national oceans and fisheries digital data center and e-Library for the NARA under the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development, a specialized institution for oceans and fisheries in Sri Lanka

This project will be carried out for three years from 2024-2026 and through this project, the recipient organization’s (NARA) oceans and fisheries science research infrastructure will be established and research capabilities will be strengthened by education and training of experts in related fields.

World Fisheries Day – 2023

Ministry of Fisheries is conducted a Fisheries Mobile Service with the assistance of its sister- in organizations DFAR, NARA, NAQDA, Cey-Nor, CFHC and CFC. This event was held at Gurunagar in Jaffna on 19.12.2023. Hon. Douglas Devananda, Minister of Fisheries, Hon. Piyal Nishantha State Minister of Fisheries, Ms. Indu Rathnayake, Secretary of the MoF, Additional Secretaries, Chairman NARA, Prof. M. J. S. Wijeyaratna, Director General

NARA, Dr. T.D.K.D. Thennakoon, other Institutional Heads and government officials graced this occasion. NARA Scientists here exhibited theirs role & services provide to fisheries and aquculture sector.

Presidents Awards for Publications – 2020

Two NARA Scientists were honored during the President's Awards for Scientific Research years 2019 and 2020 organized by the National Research Council (NRC) of Sri Lanka, are a prestigious recognition of the top 100 scientific publications.

  • Dr. (Ms.) P. P. M. Heenatigala, Principal Scientist and Head of the Inland Aquatic Resources and Aquaculture Division for being honored with the President's award for her outstanding research titled "Expression of Lam B Vaccine Antigen in Wolffia globosa (Duckweed) Against Fish Vibriosis." This recognition is a testament to her dedication and contributions to the field of inland aquatic resources and aquaculture. The publication of her study in the prestigious journal "Frontiers in Immunology" further highlights the significance of her research.
  • Mr. K.P.G.L. Sandaruwan, a distinguished Scientist affiliated with the Socio Economics and Marketing Research Division (SED) at NARA, has been recognized with the prestigious President’s Award for his exceptional research titled "Addressing Alcoholism and Domestic Violence in Fisheries—An Innovative Opportunity to Enhance Well-being for Vulnerable Communities in Global Fisheries." This noteworthy study has been published in the esteemed journal "Fish and Fisheries."

NARA, truly value and appreciate the hard work, dedication, and significant contributions made by the two Scientists in their respective fields. Their efforts play a crucial role in advancing knowledge, driving innovation, and addressing important challenges. NARA is committed to supporting and recognizing the achievements of her scientists as they continue to make valuable contributions to their fields of expertise and the country.

The award ceremony, for publication years 2019 and 2020, took place on November 21, 2023, at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Exposition Centre of the BMICH in Colombo 07.

Seeking support from the Government of India for the development of the Sri Lankan Fisheries and Aquaculture sector

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.

A HIGH-RANKED FRENCH DELEGATE VISIT TO NARA

Mr. Jean-Alexandre EGEA, an Economic Counselor, Economic Department of Colombo, Embassodor of French to Sri Lanka and the Maldives (Ambassade de France a Sri Lanka ET AUX MALDIVES)recently visited NARA with object to build up collaboration with NARA in the discipline of marine researches.He further wanted to ascertain how extent NARAs’ ongoing R & D activities address the SDG goals with pertaining to economic development of the country.Chairman NARA, Prof. M.J.S. Wijeyaratna, Director General, T.D.K.D. Thennakoon, Deputy Director General (Research & Development), Dr. G. Ganegamaarachchi and Principal and Senior Scientists representing each technical divisions have participated to this event on behalf of the NARA.

During the conversation, they extensively deliberated on the concept of blue economic development and its influence on the development of Island nation’s country like Sri Lanka. It encompasses various sectors such as fisheries, maritime transport, tourism, offshore energy, and marine biotechnology of which most of the areas that NARA have been carrying our research presently.

Mr. Jean- Alexandre showed that for Island nations, the concept of blue economic development holds immense significance due to their unique reliance on the ocean as a source of livelihood, food security, and economic opportunities. These nations often have limited land resources, making their marine ecosystems and resources crucial for their economic development.Both parties unanimously agreed that to ensure environmental sustainability while promoting blue economic development through environmental stewardshipwhich should go hand in hand. The conversation might have emphasized the need for integrated coastal zone management, ecosystem-based approaches, and sustainable practices to prevent resource depletion and protect marine ecosystems.

A WORLD BANK TEAM VISIT TO NARA

A World Bank team recently visited NARA with special emphasis on interact with NARA Scientists’ whereas their  scoping study to figure out the project on conservation and management of coastal ecosystems in terms of  development of fisheries, nature-based tourism, demographic factors towards blue economic development. One of theirs major task is, to propose nature-based solutions for coastal disasters rather than converting hard engineering solutions to natural environmental problems.

In addition to that the following concepts were emphasized during the discussion and priority areas will be subjected to lengthy discussion during the next meeting which is to be held at the Ministry of Fisheries.

  1. Mapping of coastal zone based on satellite data and images
  2. Derive a model where nature-based solutions bring to the optimal results
  3. Human- environment interaction towards sustainable fishery industry
  4. Importance of mangrove conservation e. Mattakkuliya mangrove park\resource mapping and updating the existing maps; % wetland destruction including Colombo wetlands/ enhancement visits impact on GDP
  5. Artificial reefs as a solution to discard fiber boats
  6. Coral mapping
  7. Blue flag certification
  8. Prediction model for coastal production in identifying various drivers such as SST, chlorophyll-a, rain fall, river discharge, effluent discharge, sensitive habitats and bathymetry
  9. Aquaculture as solution to mitigate issues on capture-based fisheries
  10. Environmental friendly aquaculture practices
  11. Socio economic status – e. vulnerability coping strategy
  12. Marine invasive species
  13. Coastal erosion studies
  14. Zonation of coastal zone and enhancement programmes as a holistic approach
  15. Monitoring programmes for fecal contamination
  16. Livelihood development programmes

Mr. Anders Jensen, Senior Natural Resources Management Specialist, Environment, Natural Resources & the Blue Economic, South Asian Region (SSAEN) and Ms. Nadeera, were the World Bank representatives while Dr. G. Ganegamaarachchi, Deputy Director General Research & Development, Principal and Senior Scientists representing each technical divisions have participated to this event on behalf of the NARA.

Celebrating World Hydrography Day 2023

Theme - “Hydrography – Underpinning the Digital Twin of the Ocean”

To commemorate the World Hydrography Day, the National Hydrographic Office of National Aquatic Resources Research & Development Agency (NARA), Sri Lanka has been organized the field campaign to the undergraduate students of the Ocean University of Sri Lanka to emphasize the significance of hydrographic surveys, technological advancements and the exploration of uncharted waters. Parallel with this program faculty of Geomaticsof Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka has been organized another educational workshop and demonstration to the Geomatics undergraduates to provide hands on experience and practical knowledge about hydrographic techniques.

These events encouraged the innovative thinking and practical application of hydrography to underpinning the digital twin of the ocean and to inspire future hydrographers, marine scientists and environmentalists, ensuring the sustainable management of oceans for generations to come.

 

Hon. Minister of Fisheries, Maldives Visit to NARA

Minister of Fisheries, Marine Resources & Agriculture of the Maldives, Hon. Dr. Hassan Rasheed Hassan, has recently visited NARA with a foreign mission. The mission comprised with Deputy Minister ofFisheries, Marine Resources & Agriculture, Director of Fisheries Director, Agriculture and Senior Research Officers. Prof. M.J.S. Wijeyaratna, Chairman, Dr. T.K.D.D. Thennakoon, Director General and other Senior Officials were also participate to this eventon behalf of NARA. During his visit Hon. Minister pointed out that the importance ofdeploying Fish Aggregation Devices (FADs) to enhance the fish yield while cutting down the fuel costs. He further emphasizedthe importance of maintainingthe Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) level in marine capture fisheries to ensure the sustainability of fishery resources. Hon. Ministers planted mango trees at NARA premises to commemorate this visit.

“World Ocean’s Day -Towards a National Ocean Policy”

“World Ocean’s Day – Towards a National Ocean Policy” was organized by the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) in collaboration with China Sri Lanka Joint Center for Education and Research (CSL-CER) and successfully held on 8th June 2023 at the NARA Auditorium. It was conducted with the participation of Mr Razik Zarook, PC as the Chief Guest, Prof. Weiqiang Wang as the Guest of Honor, Prof. P.B. Terney Pradeep Kumara as the Key-Note speaker, a number of stakeholders in the oceanic and maritime sector and NARA officials. It served as an initial discussion platform with all the experts in the oceanic and maritime sector to open the first step of a long-term process of formulating a “National Ocean Policy” for sustainable ocean economic development.

Management Development Programme (MDP) on New Paradigms in Fish Stock Assessment

The inauguration of the training on Management Development Programme (MDP) on New Paradigms in Fish Stock Assessment was held at NARA, Colombo on 25th May 2023. The training programme is scheduled to be held from 25th May to 1st June 2023 at Main Auditorium in NARA.

This event is jointly organized by the Ministry of Fisheries, Sri Lanka and the Bay of Bengal Program Inter-Governmental Organization (BOBP-IGO), Central Marine Fisheries Institute (CMFRI) and The National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA).  The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is the funding agency.

Fish stock assessment is crucial for sustainable management of fisheries, ensuring the long-term health of fish populations and the ecosystems they inhabit. It is the process of estimating abundance, Maximum Sustainable Yield and predictive models of fish stocks. Importantly, in the recent years, coastal nations are increasingly recognizing the essentiality of accurate stock assessments to prevent over-harvesting and maintain sustainable stock levels. Hence, training programmes are crucial in developing the skills and update knowledge needed for assessment of fish stocks, leading to formulation of effective management plans.  This Management Development Program on Fish Stock Assessment aims at strengthening the core competencies of officials from the fisheries and related departments and young researchers through the basic and advanced methods.

Additional Secretaries of Ministry of Fisheries, Mr. Namal Thalngama, Mr. Dammika Ranathunga and Ms. Anusha Gokula, Prof. M.J.S. Wijeyaratne, Chairman of NARA, Dr. Kamal Thennakoon, Director General of NARA, Mr. Nalin Perera, Representative of IUCN and E. Vivekanandan (EV), Adviser/ Consultant, CMFRI/BOBP-IGO were graced the inaugural ceremony.

Dr. J. Jayasankar, Principal Scientist, CMFRI, Dr. Eldho Varghese, Senior Scientist, CMFRI, Dr. E. Vivekanandan, Adviser/ Consultant, CMFRI/BOBP-IGO, Dr. P. Krishnan, Director, BOBP-IGO, Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan, Director, ICAR-CMFRI, Dr. Rishi Sharma; Senior Fisheries Resources Officer FAO and Dr. Sri Hari, Project Scientist, BOBP-IGO are the resource persons.

New Director General is appointed to NARA

Dr.Kamal Tennakoon, has officially assumed duties as the new Director General of NARA. He assumed duties this morning (23rd of November, 2022) during a brief ceremony at the Head office of the NARA. Prof. M.J.S.Wijeyaratne, Chairman, Dr. Geevika J Ganegama Arachchi , Deputy Director General (Acting) , Heads  of Divisions and other officials of NARA participated to the event.