Lagoon Development Project launched | Daily News

Lagoon Development Project launched

Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda at the recent Progress Review Meeting with Ministry officials.
Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda at the recent Progress Review Meeting with Ministry officials.

The Fisheries Ministry has embarked on a Lagoon Development Programme to promote large scale prawn and sea cucumber cultivations in them.

Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda told the Daily News that he has instructed the NACDA, NARA and the Fisheries Department to commence the development projects concerning nine lagoons. Priority would be given to cleaning and dredging six lagoons, namely Nandikadal Nayaru, Arugam Bay, Lanka Patuna, Mundalama and Rekawa.

The lagoons scheduled to be developed are Panama, Panasala, Puttlam, Chilaw, Mundalama, Jaffna, Nallur, Poonaryun Vidakalathivu and Kakathivu. The project includes, cleaning, dredging, deepening, broadening and the preservation of aquatic plants and creatures and enhancing self-employment opportunities in the field of Lagoon Centric Fishing and Aqua Culture.

“The Government has allocated Rs. 1400 million initially to carry out this development programme. No sooner the technical reports with regard to the Nandikadal and Nayaru Lagoons, development work will begin. We are awaiting the Coast Guard Department’s approval to launch the Arugam Bay Lagoon development project,” the Minister said.

“Tenders have been called for the Nandikadal Lagoon Restoration and Vidakalathivu Lagoon Projects through the Ministry’s Web page. The approval of the Wildlife Department has been sought for work to begin on these projects. The development plans relevant to nine selected Lagoon Development Projects are to be finalised by the end of this year,” Minister Devananda added.

Minister Devananda at a recent Progress Review Meeting urged officials to accelerate the implementation of Lagoon development activities while facing the prevailing COVID-19 challenge. It was agreed to begin prawn cultivations in the Nallur and Poonarya Lagoons. NACDA officials said that arrangements were being made for starting sea cucumber and crab cultivations in several Lagoons on par with the proposed development activities. Ministry Secretary Indu Ratnayake, NACDA Chairman Nimal Chandraratne and NARA Chairman Prof. A.Navarathnaraja also were present at the meeting.


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