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Fishing Industry

Importance of Rebuilding Fishing Industry

The fishing industry is an important aspect of the economies of affected nations. Second only to tourism in the case of Maldives. In any disaster, the poorest of society have always been affected most.

According to Indian ambassador to Washington, "The multimillionaires with tourist complexes have just been reduced to millionaires," he said. "The most vulnerable victims are the fishermen in the remote islands. Their homes, their means and tools of livelihood have been completely destroyed."

Problems Faced

As the tsunami hit the coast, many fishing boats and equipment including boats and fishing gear have been swept away or damaged. Most of the people whose livelihoods depend on fishing have no insurance to recover their loss of equipments.

Moreover, the rumors that it is dangerous to eat fish that have been in proximity to or have fed on victims' bodies has dealt a further blow to the industry, and reports suggest that fish consumption is dropping as a result. However, experts agree that such worries are unfounded, and there was no evidence of an increased risk of fish or seafood borne diseases in the affected regions.

Measures to rebuild Fishing Industry

The European commission has adopted a decision to provide immediate and long-term technical expertise and assistance to the countries concerned. Experts will contribute to the assessment of the reconstruction requirements in fisheries and aquaculture in affected areas. They will also assist in the implementation of the agreed rehabilitation measures in this sector. European vessels destined to be scrapped because of overfishing would be sent to affected areas. The EC and UN's Food and Agriculture Organization will meet on March 12 to discuss ways to overcome the legal barriers in the transfer of fishing vessels.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the German technical cooperation agency, has provided boat repair kits worth US$380,000 to help restore the livelihoods of thousands of Sri Lankan fishermen. The repair kits will be made available at boatyards set up around the country by the Sri Lankan government to repair those vessels salvaged by the surviving fishermen. Furthermore, FAO will provide fishing nets and gear, as well as outboard engines and will repair damaged boats or replace those lost with new ones.


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