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Assessing the present financial condition of Sri Lanka

1. Sri Lanka is an Island in the Indian sub continent between 6 – 10 Nْ Latitudes and 80 – 82 ْ E Longitudes and it is located in strategically important position in Indian Ocean. It is covered with 1817km long coastline and a territorial sea of 21500 sq km in the Indian Ocean. Having potential geographical condition and the natural environment gives greatest advantages to the fisheries industry unlike other economic sources. Since declaration of a 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in 1978, Sri Lanka had sovereign rights over about 500000 km ² of the Ocean.


2. The fisheries industry contributes to the national economy and it is one of major source of generating employment and export income, and provides food security from the early 70 in the country. Even though the sector contributes low amount to the GDP the sector directly linked with the lives of approximately 40% of the population of the country that live in the coastal areas. Sri Lanka is a third world developing country and it has indicated that Sri Lanka is one of fast developing country in the region. When comparing the country’s population, economic condition, as well as other sectors with the past, it is clearly indicated that there are significant improvements of those sections than the past. Though the human contribution increased to the fishing sector, there is no considerable outcome from the fishing industry. The fishing industry is now incapable of making significant contribution to Sri Lankan economy. This is mainly due to application of out dated fishing techniques and non-exploitation of the fishery resources in optimal level which decreased the considerable contribution to the country’s economy due to low productivity of the fisheries industry.

3. Although Sri Lanka is geographically located in Indian Ocean, the productivity of the fisheries industry is not potential with comparing some other countries in the region. When comparing Sri Lanka’s fish production with major fish producers in the regional states it is obvious that there are significant draw back from the fisheries industrial sector as well as technically far behind even to smaller states.

4. The annual gross production approximately 285000 tonnes and it is not increasing considerably with increasing of population and for their consumption. The gross production was metric ton 319120 according to the fisheries year book 2008 of NARA it has not considerably increased. Fisheries sector plays key role in Sri Lanka economy by reducing country’s unemployment rates and uplifting human conditions but contribution to the national economy 1.2% to the GDP according to the central bank annual report in 2009 (See Table 1).


6. The climate is affected by the countries in salutary, proximity to the equator and the Indian Ocean. The rains determine by the monsoons and fishery seasons generally associated with the two monsoons, the North East monsoon from November to March the and South West monsoon from June to September. The large scale Oceanic current related to regional oceanic circulations dominate water beyond the continental shelf. Winds and temperature differences control the current and their general pattern seasonal changes. Off the East coast, currents are strongest during the North East monsoon.


7. The history of Sri Lankan fisheries industry had been exisisting since ancient era. After the Portuguese and Dutch occupation of Sri Lankan coastal areas the industry also came in to important position in the country. The industry was developed after the establishing of ministry for the fisheries during British colonial period and it has given considerable contribution in the exporting market as well as national economy. After 1977 as the infrastructure facilities of the sector such as new machine and engine boats, large freezer facilities, and storages transports were introduced.

8. Freshwater fish culture in seasonal village tanks was initiated in 1979 by the inland fisheries division of the ministry of fisheries with 23 tanks in the country’s dry zone. And from 1979 onwards the polyculture of fish using Tilapia and Carp has been carried out. In the early 1980s a number of small – scale entrepreneurs and few multinational companies responded to the incentives offered by the government, including duty free imports. In the ornamental fish industry in Sri Lanka has a long history and started with household based small-scale outlets in cities. In the early 1930s, there were several small scale importers, breeders and hobbyists in Sri Lanka a commercial aquarium was standard in [1] 1952 in Colombo. Initially the sector mainly was controlled by government and implemented six year programme of investment in 1954 – 1959. The policy objective in the fisheries sector was to declare as the maximization of the aggregate catch level through state intervention, to mechanize the existing craft providing new boats, and improve techniques, the Ceylon fisheries corporation was established to implement many of the

development interventions in the sector as well as to involve directly in the catch and sale of fish. In the government policies 1977, the sector to contribute maximum level, and develop the inland fisheries sector and finding the new export places to improve the foreign market.


9. Being an island of the Indian Ocean there are great advantages to improve the fisheries industry in the country. Even though the natural resources available the past productions are not in a position to play a significant role in the economy.


10. The fishing industry is now incapable of making significant contribution to Sri Lankan economy. This is mainly due to application of out dated fishing techniques and non-exploitation of the fishery resources in optimal level contribute to the country’s economy due to low productivity. In addition to technology, not practicing of multi day boat system, lack of government supervision, scarcity of large tonnage boats and lack of financial and technical assistance to the sector affects the standstill of the industry. Sri Lanka being an island consists of huge amount of natural fish resources around the country still unable to utilize them as per the required level. This research mainly examines to answer the question whether application of modern fishing techniques adopted by most of developed and developing countries would significantly increase the production and thereby increased the fishing harvest to enhance Sri Lankan Economy. Therefore the research problem is focussed on “to what extent new technology application will influence on improving productivity of fishing industry in Sri Lanka”.


11. The objectives of this paper is to discuss and find out the feasibility of utilizing new technology along with other effective factors to improve the productivity and to acquire the country development by means of application new technology. Therefore it is utmost important to analyse the effective factors in various aspects to increase the productivity to reach the required level with increasing population. There are two types of objectives;

a. Key objective. To examine the input of new technology to increased the production.

Specific objectives.

To understand the relative input of radar system on improving the production.

To identify how does the multi day boat method effect on changing the harvest than the traditional methods.

Whether GPS system will facilitate for fisherman to navigate in the deep sea and to what extent it is used.

The Eco sounder system will be used by the fisherman and how can it be helpful to increase the production.


12. Analysing the application of new technology into the fisheries industry research will focuses to increase productivity with increasing population and acquiring good social standard among the people to develop the country. This research will be facilitated following sectors to make decision on future planning;

a. Government To apply new technology, to provide assistance, and to increase the infrastructure facilities on fisheries sector.

b. Policy makers Policy makers such as central bank, the ministry of fishery and fisheries cooperation to make decisions, policies for future betterment of fisheries industry.

c. Fisherman The fisherman to compare and analyse the method adopted for fishing and to what extent this will be affected to improve their harvest.

d. Investors This will facilitate to investors to make decision for future investment on the fisheries sector.


13. The population and consume capacity gradually has been increasing in the country but the production of the fisheries sector is incapable of improving as per the population is concerned. The researcher focussed to find out the reasons effecting to increase the production of the sector.

14. Limiting factors of the study are as follows;

a. Interviews and questionnaires only targeted 51 persons who are actively engaged in the field.

b. There were limited books on the industry, and the details were collected from few books, researches, and web sites as secondary data.

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