Cabinet approval to amend Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act to Deter and Eliminate Illegal and Unregulated Fishing

July, 11, 2019

The number of complaints made by the foreign countries with regard to illegal fishing activities in their Exclusive Economic Zones by the registered Sri Lankan fishing boats are on the increase.

At the same time, the trend in abusing fishing boats for drug trafficking, human trafficking as well as illegal transportation of goods outside the fishing industry, has also increased rapidly and in the cases filed against such offences, very often the owners of the boats have to pay the fine imposed on the offence or at times, have to get imprisoned.

Accordingly, the proposal made by the Minister of Agriculture, Livestock Development, Irrigation and Fisheries & Aquatic Resources Development, to amend the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act, incorporating the amendment, so as to penalize the boat owner or the boat operator (skipper) or the master or the persons on board or abetting in such offences, was approved by the Cabinet.