Ambassador H.E. Godfrey Cooray met Hon. Odd Emil
Ingebrigtsen, Minister of the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Fisheries and Seafood
on 31.08.2020 at the Ministry. The Minister of Fisheries and Seafood
accompanied Ms. Vibeke Greni, Director, Trade Policy Department, Ms. Ine
Charlott Paulsen, Specialist Director, Trade Policy Department and Mr.
Kristoffer Krogh Bjørklund, Senior Advisor, Fisheries Department. Mrs.
Samanmali Atalugama, Second Secretary and Mrs. Rosie Jones, Business
Development Officer have attended the meeting from the Sri Lankan side.
Hon. Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen and the senior officials
of the Fisheries Ministry have warmly welcomed the Sri Lanka Delegation headed
by H.E. Godfrey Cooray, the Ambassador. Hon. Minister has congratulated the
Ambassador on his appointment as the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Norway, Finland
Ambassador thanked the Norwegian Delegation for giving the opportunity
and he conveyed that with the new concept of “Saubhagye Dakma” of His
Excellency the President Gotabaya Rajapakse which targets a massive progress in
the fisheries sector. Sri Lanka will halt the importation of fish into the
country as our motherland is surrounded by the ocean. Further, President will
introduce a comprehensive programme to provide new technology and equipment
needed to enhance the fisheries sector. All the fishery harbours will be
modernized to provide facilities for multi-day fishing boats that fish in deep
seas. Ambassador stated that It is part of our strategy to introduce new
technology to develop the inland freshwater fisheries industry.
Ambassador Cooray has also given a brief
introduction on the longstanding Fisheries Cooporation by and between the two
countries. He further explained present and future Research and Development
Collaboration in the fisheries and aquatic resources sector in Sri Lanka.
Further, Ambassador explained that the Fisheries
Sector in Sri Lanka plays a vital role in economic social lifestyle development
by providing direct and indirect opportunities for about 6,25,000 employees and
also giving livelihoods for more than 2.7 million coastal communities. It
provides more than 60% protein requirement of people in the country. The total
fish production of the country in 2017 is as 531,310 Metric Tons. While the
rest inland and aquaculture 81,870 Metric Tons.
H.E. Cooray has also conveyed that the Master Plan has
to be prepared in line with the Fisheries policy developed under Norwegian
assistance and preparation of health guidelines for fisheries sector. It has
been revealed that the policy document has already been prepared under the
technical and financial assistance of Norway and Master plan should be
developed in line with the policy document for the successful implementation of
the fisheries policies in Sri Lanka.
Further, Ambassador has requested the Norwegian side to explore the
possibility of obtaining RV Dr.Fridjof
Nansan Vessel to conduct marine resource surveying every three years interval
and strengthening capacities of NARA RV Samudrika vessel for conducting marine
H.E. Cooray highlighted that after 1978 survey
conducted by RV Dr.Fridjof Nansan, 2018 also conducted marine resource survey
and emphasized the need of R/V Dr. Fridjof Nansan every three years
interval to continuously monitor
the resources for preparation of proper management plan for the sustainable
Ambassador has highlighted the importance of
building the capacities of fisheries scientists to use of novel models for
accurate fish stock assessment. He also added that IMR-NARA First Phase
(2016-2019)- to establish proper fisheries data base through successfully
implementation of Fisheries dependent survey and Fisheries Independent survey
to use fisheries data for preparation management plans. Further he stated that
Sri Lankan scientists should be trained to do the data analysis using novel
fisheries stock assessment models.
Ambassador explained the importance of accurate forecasting of potential
fishing zones by using novel satellite technology to shorten the multiday boat
Extraction and characterization of Bioactive
compounds from marine organisms in Sri Lankan coastal waters was identified as
one of the important research areas. Ambassador has requested technical
assistance to extract, identify and quantify pharmaceutical compounds from
marine organisms. Sri Lanka has vast marine biodiversity and there are high
value bio active compounds in marine organisms. Those compounds can be extracted
using sophisticated technology.
H.E. Cooray further stated that Sri Lanka has good pelagic fish
resources (fish live between sea surface to 200m depth)- Tuna and sardinella
species etc. Also, Mesopelagic fish live between 200m to 1000m depth. This fish
resources are not harvested now. These resources should be utilized without
damaging to the ecosystem and food web. Therefore, Ambassador suggested an
assessment and sustainable utilization of mesopelagic marine biological
resources is needed in Sri Lanka.
Further H.E. Cooray emphasized the importance of
establishment of proper quality and safety certification system for fish and
fisheries products. Proper fish quality and safety is important in the assure
the safety of the consumers. Presently, there is no proper quality and safety
certification system. Sri Lanka has to develop the proper safety and quality
certification including MSC (Marine stewardship Council) certification. This
should be developed for local as well as for the export market. Therefore,
Ambassador Cooray has requested assistance in this regard.
Exploration of marine nonliving resources is
needed. Sri Lanka always concern about marine living resources. There are high
value marine mineral resources in seabed of Sri Lanka marine waters. These
resources should be identified, quantified and sustainable utilization of the
resources. H.E. Cooray has requested assistance to carry our mineral resources
surveys, identify the areas for the exploration of marine non-living resources.
Further, the Ambassador has highlighted that the
plastic pollution is a serious problem in aquatic environment especially marine
waters in the world. Microplastics also serious issue and human can consume
microplastic through small fish varieties. Identification of sources of
pollution, areas and density of microplastic is important to know the status
and classification and to minimize the plastic pollution in the ocean.
Therefore, the technical assistance is needed to carry out the studies.
H.E. Cooray has also stated that after harvesting
fishes are brought to fishery harbours and to improve the quality of landed
fish, hygienic conditions in fishery habours are very important. Therefore,
continuous monitoring is required to maintain the good habour conditions. Ministry
of Fisheries in Sri Lanka is planning to introduce green habour concept for the
22 major fisheries habours in the country. Therefore, Ambassador has requested
technical assistance from the Norwegian Government for the development of green
Further the Ambassador has explained the importance of introducing
intensive aquaculture farming systems (Recirculation Aquaculture Systems) to
increase aquaculture production in the country. It is not possible to increase
fish production through capture fisheries. Therefore, aquaculture industry
should be developed. There is a lack of available and suitable land for
aquaculture. Sheltered areas are scares for marine aquaculture. Hence
high-density aquaculture technology should be introduced. Therefore, the
technical assistance is required.
Ambassador also reminded that the bilateral
cooperation project started in 2017 within the aim of improving management of
the fish resources of Sri Lanka.
The main objective of phase 1 of the project was to
provide technical assistance to upgrade existing fisheries dependent data
collection and technical assistance and training and conducting fisheries
independent marine research survey.
Significant progress towards establishing both a
system for the collection of fisheries dependent data and building competence
for conducting scientific survey was made during phase I 2017 –
2019.However a permanent system for regular
collection of commercial landing data is not yet established.
Similarly, fisheries independent surveying is not a
solid integrated routine activity at National Aquatic Resources Research and
Development Agency (NARA). The Ambassador shared his knowledge as he had been
the Chairman of NARA in the past.
Accordingly, H.E. Cooray highlighted that Sri Lanka
is bit particular of Phase II of the project for 3-year period 2020 – 2022.
Subsequently, H.E. Cooray has given the
undermentioned brief introduction on the present Collaboration with Norway.
Phase I 2016-2019
“Sri Lanka – Norway Bilateral
project” to improve the management of the fish resources of Sri Lanka
Improving the fisheries research
and management institutions in Sri Lanka by;
Improved fisheries data
collection system for coastal fisheries to provide reliable statistical landing
data covering the entire country for sustainable management of the coastal
Providing technical assistance
and competence building in fisheries research through fisheries independent
fisheries management, in accordance with UNFSA's Precautionary Approach
Phase II 2020-2022
Improved management of the marine fish resources in Sri Lanka
Outcome 1: Improved collection,
storage and use of fisheries dependent data
system for fisheries landing data implemented
programme for fisheries landing data improved
in statistics and data analysis conducted
Establish effective cooperation
with defined responsibilities between NARA, DFAR, MFAR on landing data
collection and sharing
Outcome 2: NARA scientists have increased capability to plan, conduct
and report findings from fisheries independent surveys according to
scientifically recognized norms
RV “Samuddrika” is technically
and operationally suited to conduct fisheries independent surveys
and theoretical training in fisheries independent surveying conducted
Systems implemented by NARA to
manage and safeguard data from the time-series surveys in a central repository.
4. NARA has
established procedures and structures for planning surveys with RV “Samuddrika”
Outcome 3: Management decisions are in accordance with the precautionary
approach and are based on improved scientific research and fisheries
management plans are implemented
fisheries regulations relevant for management plan developed
DFAR/MFARD to conduct impact assessment of management measures
Hon. Minister of Fisheries and Seafood of Norway Mr. Odd Emil
Ingebrigtsen has explained that the Ministry is responsible for the trade,
industry and seafood policy. He further highlighted that the Norwegian ocean
area is six to seven times that of mainland Norway. Norwegian seafood industry
is delivering seafood to consumers in more than 130 countries. In recent
decades, Norway’s fishing industry has developed from a ‘free fishing’ activity
to a fully-fledged industry complete with quotas and concessions.
Fisheries and Aquaculture are the most important
occupation along stretches of Norwegian coast, about 26,000 people are employed
and total population is 5.3 million. We are self-sufficient in fisheries sector
with modern technology with expertise knowledge. We have fisheries universities
and fisheries schools too.
Ambassador Cooray thanked the Hon. Minister of Fisheries and explained
that Dr. H.M.P. Kithsiri as the Deputy Director General (Research and
Development) at NARA and as the Sri Lanka National Project Coordinator of the
Norway-Sri Lanka project on Technical Assistance to improve the management of
the fisheries resources in Sri Lanka in the first phase (2016-2019) coordinated
all three work packages among IMR Norway, NARA and the Department of Fisheries.
In addition, regular meetings were conducted with the three institutes to
discuss the progress of the project activities. During the first phase it has
been finalized the sampling strategy and sampling format for the collection of
reliable data for the preparation of fisheries management plans. Dr. Kithsiri
also coordinator of the second phase on improved management of the marine
resources in Sri Lanka Phase II (2020-2022) and the project will be helpful to
establish sustainable marine fisheries resources management in the country.