Damage to fishing worse than expected

Damage to fishing worse than expected
Sydney Morning Herald (subscription) – Sydney,New South Wales,Australia

The devastating impact of the Asian tsunami disaster on fishing and aquaculture in the Indian Ocean is worse and more complex than expected, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said today.

“The situation is extremely serious, particularly in Indonesia and Sri Lanka, the countries where we have the best information coming through,” said Jeremy Turner, head of the agency’s Fishery Technology Service.

“In Sri Lanka, our reports suggest to us that something like 80 per cent of fishing vessels have been either lost or damaged and similar levels of destruction have taken place in northwestern Indonesia,” he added.

The UN has sent experts to Sri Lanka, where over 13,000 fishermen are dead or missing and more than 5000 fishing families have been displaced, to advise the government how to resurrect the industry, the FAO said.

“Our real concern is about the fishing sector’s ability to continue with income-generating activities and its production,” Turner said.

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AdvertisementIn coastal Thailand, fishing villages with a population of around 120,000 have lost some 4500 boats, and the FAO estimated seafood supplies in some areas had dropped by 90 percent since the tsunami.

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