Immediate steps to revoke licenses | Daily News


Immediate steps to revoke licenses

In the wake of the boat tragedy in Katukurunda on Sunday which claimed 11 lives, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Minister Mahinda Amaraweera yesterday ordered relevant officials to take immediate steps to revoke licenses issued to fishing vessels which transport passengers while violating guidelines issued by the ministry.

Amaraweera said the ill-fated vessel was a multi-day fishing boat with a capability to carry four or five fishermen plus the fishing gear, but it had carried 30 plus passengers, far exceeding its capacity.

The Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry will launch an awareness program among boat owners and boatmen regarding safety standards to be adopted and maintained in navigating boats in high seas to prevent tragedies like Sunday’s boat tragedy, Minister Amaraweera added.

The ministry will seek the assistance of the Navy and the National Coast Conservation Department, and other relevant institutions to organize this programme. The minister in a release added that even though this area did not come under the ministry purview, it hoped to issue a set of guidelines to institutions and persons providing boat services as a social service so that tragedies of this nature could be avoided.

The minister said it was clear that overloading was the main cause of the Katukurunda boat tragedy. 

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