Interactive Platforms on SSF TRAWLING


Trawling is a fishing technique which was considered legal until Act no. 11 of 2017 was enforced in July 2017. This act banned the practice of mechanized Bottom Trawling and also the possession of this gear. Yet, mechanized trawling has not ceased. The Tamil Nadu mechanized trawlers are still illegally fish in Palk Bay waters using bottom trawling, and local fishermen in Pesalai, Velvettithurai, Gurunagar and Pallimunai are engaged in trawling in the northern waters with about 300 small trawlers and conflicts have emerged between them and the small scale fishers exploiting the same waters with FRP boats and traditional crafts employing drift nets and lines. Trawling has also been a customary practice of a large number of wind propelled crafts in the Negombo and adjacent areas, which was considered a non-destructive method of trawling and a good technique to harvest shrimp resources. Recently, it has also been brought to the notice of the general public over public media that destructive type of bottom trawling is carried out by about 23 trawlers at Kalpitiya, landing huge amounts of bycatch which are destroyed.

Therefore, trawling has produced controversies over its use and adverse impacts on the environment, which has now become a very sensitive issue needing further investigation into its appropriateness in fishing the country’s waters.

In discussing this issue further, understanding the various facets of the problem and providing policy guidelines to the government, the SLFSSF propose to establish an interactive platform consisting of experts and stakeholders of the technique ‘trawling’.

Interactive Platforms are defined as “platforms that facilitate interaction among a range of academic, research, policy, administrative and political actors, who deliberate upon the relationships among their knowledge and perceptions about development issues and generate innovative ideas and strategies to improve the wellbeing of people and the economy” Such platforms facilitate interactive governance, because development issues are identified and discussed, policy guidelines are formulated and awareness is created through interaction among all relevant stakeholders. Interactive Platforms unite representatives of the public, scientific, private sectors and civil society of the territory, to strengthen the democratic mechanisms and to foster crafting regional collaboration and strategies.


1) Professor Sunil Jayakody (Chair)
2) Professor Upali Amarasinghe
3) Professor Ruchira Cumaranatunge
4) Dr. Dileepa De Croos
5) Dr. Champa Amarairi
6) Dr. Sisira Haputhanthri
7) Dr. Steve Creech
8) Mr. Herman Kumara
9) Mr. Upul Liyanage
10) 2 Fishers representing from Northern Trawl centers (Prof. Sosai)
11) 2 Fishers from Puttalam Lagoon / Kalpitiya. Fish Coops (Mr. Herman)

Date: 5th June 2018

Venue: Social Science Research Centre – University of Kelaniya
Focal Point: Dr. M. G. Kularatne

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