Sri Lanka to stop destructive fishing in northern seas

June 12th, 2011 - 8:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, June 12 (IANS) Sri Lanka would place barriers at strategic locations in the island’s northern seas to stop destructive fishing methods, a minister has said.

The region includes some of the most extensive mangrove areas, and some of the world’s least disturbed coral reefs, the Sunday Times quoted Fisheries Minister Rajitha Senaratne as saying.

These coastal ecosystems have been subjected to increasing exploitation, particularly over the last 20 years.

A one-month period - starting May 15 - is considered as the fish breeding period, and fishermen traditionally avoid fishing in this part of the ocean, he said.

India’s Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh recently said fishermen from both the countries should look at the sustainability of valuable marine resources and avoid over-fishing in shared waters.

Ramesh said marine biodiversity was an important natural resource whose conservation was as important as that of forests.

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