No lands for Aquaculture development projects

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

The State Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development and Rural Economy Dilip Wedaarachchi said all aquaculture development projects were currently stuck due to the barriers related to land acquisition.

He told The Morning that several foreign investors had already come out with various aquaculture development projects that had zero impacts on the environment but the delay in acquiring lands had stopped those investments.

Explaining the reasons for the difficulty in finding proper lands, the State Minister said the people who had started aquaculture development projects earlier had not properly maintained the lands. Some of the projects in question had later been abandoned after significant damage had already been caused to the lands that were occupied and its surrounding environs.

Claiming that aquaculture farming could alone recover the country’s income and expenditure gap, Wedaarachchi said that the Land Ministry should actively intervene in order to solve the land issue so that these development projects can begin.

He encouraged the rural communities to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the mega aquaculture development projects that his ministry was currently rolling out through the National Aquaculture Development Authority (NADA).

“Sri Lanka can easily boost its aquaculture production within a few years with a modern regulatory framework that is specifically designed to govern a responsible and sustainable fish farming industry,” he stated.