In order to facilitate the fishermen engaged in coastal fishing, Naval Divers attached to the Eastern Naval Command placed buoys in the Back Bay in Trincomalee earmarking the area for their exclusive use.
The bay, which had once been a hive of activity with traditional fishermen taking the lead, was non-operational for over three decades due to terrorist activities. Thanks to the measures taken by the Ministry of Economic Development, it has now been made ready for the use of the fisheries community in the area.
Navy’s Landing Craft L 820 was utilized for the operation which was carried out on 06th August 2013 with 42 naval personnel rendering their expertise. Five buoys were positioned in an area that spreads from Flag Staff Point to Elizabeth Point at an approximate eight-cable distance from land. Each, anchored on a sinker weighing a ton, was laid about two cables apart in demarcating the area.
With the buoys now in place, fishermen can engage in their livelihoods more profitably in their preferred fishing grounds and earn a good income with larger fish catches. Demarcation of a sea space for fishermen who use traditional fishing modes will certainly boost the small scale fishing sector and limit the interference of large-scale operators, who use sophisticated fishing vessels and modern fishing gear. It will also improve the living conditions of those dependent on canoes and small boats to venture into sea and rely on traditional methods for fishing.
Press Release, August 9, 2013; Image: Sri Lanka Navy