Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda yesterday slammed Indian experts and Indian fishermen who have called Sri Lanka ‘irresponsible’ over a project to submerge discarded vehicles in the sea to create an artificial reef.
On June 11, the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, in collaboration with the Sri Lankan Navy, submerged 20 degraded and discarded bus bodies near the Delft Island in the northern waters as a way to help create artificial reefs conducive to the marine environment’.
Fishermen from Tamil Nadu however shot back days later condemning the project saying it will affect their livelihood and asked what the guarantee would be that the vehicles would not get drifted underwater, and move towards the Indian waters across the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and be deposited at the bottom of Indian waters.
Devananda however told Daily Mirror that the concerns raised by the Indian fishermen were false and asked why they were so concerned when India too had created such artificial reefs using discarded vehicles.
He said such a project would in fact create a breeding ground for marine life and said 40 countries including the United States had carried out such projects for marine life.
“It is unfair for fishermen from India to call us irresponsible over this. Such complaints have the backing of some vested parties but the Fisheries Department will continue with this project and ignore such baseless complaints,” Devananda said.