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Serving Sri Lanka

This web log is a news and views blog. The primary aim is to provide an avenue for the expression and collection of ideas on sustainable, fair, and just, grassroot level development. Some of the topics that the blog will specifically address are: poverty reduction, rural development, educational issues, social empowerment, post-Tsunami relief and reconstruction, livelihood development, environmental conservation and bio-diversity. 

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Tsunami boats dilemma: over and under distribution

Sunday Observer: 25/12/2005" by Elmo Leonard

One year following the tsunami, there is a gross over distribution of fishing craft to fishermen who lost and damaged their boats. However, there are many cases of fishermen who genuinely lost or had their boats damaged by the tsunami, not having received compensation and are still without boats, according to a recent study undertaken by FAO, and released through the Ministry of Fisheries.

Pre-tsunami, there was an oversupply of smaller fishing craft which engage in coastal waters; the problem is getting more aggravated. Over supply have already led to destructive over fishing of coastal fisheries resources. What Sri Lanka lacks is an increase of her fleet of 1700 multiday boats, which type, operates in deep waters, where fisheries stocks go virtually untapped, director general of the Department of Fisheries, G Piyasena said.

Cey-Nor Foundation Ltd, the state run boatyard, linked to FAO funding, stopped undertaking repairs of damaged boats in October. However, A J Fishing, a Norwegian collaboration which manufactures fishing gear for export at its factory at the Katunayake Free Trade Zone, and is the coastal campaign's main player, is still active in boat repair work, according to FAO.

Fibreglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) boats lost made up 3211, but a total 4258 have been repaired, to date. The breakdown is 1404 FRP's repaired by Cey-Nor and 2854 reconditioned by NGOs, according to FAO. The same case applies to traditional fishing craft, where while 2436 such craft have been damaged, 3497 have been repaired.

The breakdown shows, 1674 repaired by Cey-Nor and 1805 repaired by NGOs. Beach seines damaged make up 181, while 134 have been repaired; 40 by Cey-Nor and 84 by NGOs.

The number of fishing craft engines repaired following the tsunami is 3004, while 1741 were damaged on December 26 last year. While 1341 OBM - Outboard motor engines were damaged, 2465 were repaired, 747 by Cey-Nor and 1718 by NGOs. Inboard engines damaged in the tsunami make up 400, while 539 have been repaired, 350 by Cey-Nor and 189 by NGOs.

According to FAO statistics, around 78 percent of boats destroyed by the tsunami have been replaced. If pledges by NGO's to replace lost fishing craft continues, there is a likely to be an oversupply of over 2100 FRB boats; 500 traditional fishing craft; shortfall in supply of multiday boats and beach seine craft.

Of 187 multiday craft destroyed, none have been replaced, while pledges for replacement of these craft number 175. While 276 one day boats were destroyed by the tsunami, only 29 have been replaced, while there is written commitment for the replacement of 364. Of 4480 FRP Fibreglass reinforced boats damaged, 4321 have been replaced, while there are pledges for replacement of 2264 such craft.

While 11,150 traditional craft have been destroyed, 8636 have been replaced and 3037 more are to be built as replacements. Beach scene craft destroyed made up 819, of which 204 have been replaced, and another 354 are to be supplied.

In the district of Galle, while there is an excess of 84 traditional fishing craft, 60 more have been planned, according to FAO statistics. In the Hambantota district, an excess of 193 traditional craft, while 183 more are planned. In the Kalutara district, there are an excess of 261 and 20 more are planned; Batticaloa, 34 excess, 356 more planned; Ampara 173 excess, 550 more planned.

The district of Hambantota has an excess of 17 FRP boats, while 363 more are planned; Kalutara - 101 excesses; Jaffna - 857 excess with 194 more pledged. Galle - 203 excess. Batticaloa - 98 more pledged; Ampara 278 in excess; Mullaitivu 313 more pledged.

According to data computed by FAO, and issued by the Ministry of Fisheries, in the Galle district, 200 more FR boats have been delivered but eight genuine beneficiaries have not been provided with boats. While 549 traditional craft have been destroyed, 833 new craft have been received, while 343 more are pledged.

In the Hambantota district, the FAO says that 17 more than the 387 traditional craft destroyed have been replaced and there is a pledge for the supply of another 292 fishing craft. In this district, the beneficiary version is that while 17 more FR boats were delivered, 282 genuine beneficiaries were not provided with boats and only 85 genuine beneficiaries boats and the same is true of other types of boats.

In the Matara district, 156 FR boats were destroyed, the number replaced is 88, and 145 more are to be delivered. But the result of beneficiary version is that only 11 genuine beneficiaries have benefited. The same is true of other types of boats.

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