The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development has taken measures to introduce GPS technology for all fishing vessels to monitor the vessels and to issue an identity card for local fishermen, the Director General of the Department of Fisheries Prasanna Geeganage informed the Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources P. Harrison.
The decision to implement the measures was taken considering a request made by local fishermen on curbing drug trafficking, illegal transactions and illegal migration carried out under the guise of fishermen, the Minister was told during a discussion held with the ministry officials.
Minister Harrison, who met with the officials at the Ministry to discuss several issues that exist in the Fisheries Department, appreciated the proposed measures.
The officials further informed the Minister that the fishermen who set out to sea will be required to prove their identity through fingerprint scanning when exiting from a fisheries harbor in future.
Furthermore, a short message service (SMS) will also be introduced within the next two months, to inform the fishermen on weather advisories and other urgent notices, the officials said. They said that these measures were proposed in the 2019 budget.
Minister Harrison said in the future he expects to present the proposals to introduce the GPS technology and observe to all fishing vessels, to increase the limit of housing loans provided to empower rural fishermen and to provide fishing equipment at a concessionary prices to the cabinet of ministers.
State Minister of Fisheries Dilip Wedaarachchi, Monitoring MP of the Ministry of Fisheries Vijith Wijayamuni Zoysa, Agriculture Ministry Secretary KDS Ruwanchandra, Director General of the Department of Fisheries Prasanna Geeganage and other officials were present at the occasion.