The Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Department will harvest inland fish island-wide in water sources larger than 800 hectares. Agriculture Irrigation, Rural Economy, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Minister P. Harrison released 100,000 fish to the Nachchaduwa tank in Anuradhapura commencing the programme recently.
The Minister said on the occasion that Kalawewa, Mahakanadarawa, Padaviya, Wahalkada, Tissa Wewa, Huruluwewa, Balaluwewa, Nuwarawewa and Mahawilachchya will be used to carry out the programme. Thilapia, Rohu, Mirigal, Grass Carp and Catla - fresh water fish varieties - will be released to the tanks. The Minister said 16,000 Metric tonnes of fish were harvested in Anuradhapura in 2019.
The inland fish industry will be developed using 12,000 major tanks in the country under the National Aquatic Resources Development Authority. Nearly 80,000 persons engage in inland fish industry. In 2017, 83,000 MT of inland fish production was recorded and it has increased to 90,000 MT in 2018. Over 157,000 MT of fish will be produced in two years and 352,000 MT will be harvested by 2025.
Anuradhapura Aquatic Resources Extension Officer S.D.C. Sisitha Kumara said the fish longer than 2.5 cm will be grown in cages and released after two months to protect them from larger fish. Last year, 4,298,000 fish were released to 10 major tanks except Abayawewa and Tissa Wewa. Kumara said Anuradhapura has 48 inland fishery societies and this number will increase to 100 before long.