Boat Registration Mandatory
The government has made it mandatory for all fishing boats and fishermen to be registered, Fisheries Minister Rajitha Senaratne said.
Senaratne said that both fishermen and fishing boats which are registered will also have to renew their registration annually.
The Minister said that so far 42,000 fishing boats have been registered with the Ministry and another 5000 remain to be registered.
He also said that earlier the registration of fishing boats and fishermen was done at a cost but now it is free of charge.
All fishing boats which are to be registered must also have an insurance policy without which the boats will not be registered.
He also said that a new policy will be introduced soon with regards to fishing boats and fishermen in the country.
The Minister said that the new policy will look at the standard of boats used in the fishing industry and under the policy all boats will have to be sea worthy and also gave a Global Positioning System (GPS) and other equipment.
All the boats and information of fishermen registered with the Ministry will be included in a database maintained at the Ministry. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that by registering the boats and fishermen it will be possible for the Ministry to provide compensation for the fishermen in the event of a tragedy at sea.