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FAO helps launch modified multi-day fishing vessel to reduce post-harvest loss

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Newly launched boat (pic courtesy FAO

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Ministry of Fisheries yesterday (04) launched a modified multi-day fishing vessel at an event in Colombo. A FAO press release said that it was meant to improve the quality of fish and reduce post-harvest loss in the Fisheries sector.

The following is the text of the FAO statement: “Fish products are an important source of animal protein for Sri Lanka and the sector contributes about 1.1 percent to Sri Lanka’s GDP. However, studies by the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) indicate that the fish quality loss in some harbours is at 60 – 70 percent.

Some of the issues, contributing to these losses, include the lack of an adequate cooling system in multi-day fishing vessels that use weeks-old ice to maintain low temperatures and the captured harvest not being handled or stored properly by fishers, which reduces the quality of the overall harvest and damage the bottom layer of stored fish.

To address this issue FAO, together with the Ministry of Fisheries and NARA, modified the design of a multi-day fishing vessel as a pilot project to introduce new boat designs that provide an economically viable solution to minimize the quality loss of fish harvests. By reducing the existing post-harvest losses, the investment for the proposed new design can be recovered within 3.5 years.

The modified multi-day vessel features a pilot coolant system in the fish holds, and storage as well, as a modified fish holding facility to minimize the physical damage to fish due to overload. The modified vessel was launched at an event in Colombo under the auspices of Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Minister of Fisheries, Douglas Devananda, State Minister of Fisheries, Piyal Nishantha de Silva, and the FAO Assistant Representative for Sri Lanka, Nalin Munasinghe.

Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena highlighted the potential of the project stating, “I’m thankful to the Ministry and FAO for the efforts taken to introduce innovative methods to protect the valuable harvests of the fisheries industry. This innovative design will bring multiple benefits for the fisheries community by enabling them to protect the quality of their harvest.”

Minister of Fisheries Douglas Devananda stated, “I thank FAO, NARA, NERD, and other fisheries organizations that supported us in this initiative. We’re committed to introducing innovative solutions to address the challenges faced by the Fisheries community today.”

Speaking on the initiative, Assistant FAO Representative for Sri Lanka, Nalin Munasinghe, stated “This initiative is an important step in introducing new technology to the Fisheries sector that will reduce losses, increase profits and improve the quality of fish available for consumers. As FAO we are committed to supporting the sustainable integration of technology and innovation to strengthen Sri Lanka’s journey to becoming a food-secure nation.”

Together with its partners, FAO in Sri Lanka is committed to addressing urgent food security needs, while improving the capacity of the fisheries and agriculture sectors to support Sri Lanka’s journey to becoming a food-secure nation.

 

 



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President orders probe into notification issued by Department of Immigration and Emigration

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It has been reported that President Wickremesinghe ordered an investigation into the notification issued by the Department of Immigration and Emigration requesting all  Russian and Ukrainian tourists to leave the country within 14 days.

According to the President’s Media Division (PMD), the relevant notification was issued without prior approval from the Cabinet of Ministers.

The decision had reportedly been taken as certain foreign tourists are running illegal businesses in the country.

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Contentious Chinese research vessel docks in Maldives

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Xiang Yang Hong 03 has previously visited Indian Ocean on several other occasions

A contentious Chinese research ship reached the Maldives on Thursday in the latest sign of the archipelago’s diplomatic reorientation towards Beijing and away from its traditional benefactor India.

Local residents said they had spotted China’s Xiang Yang Hong 3 at the Thilafushi industrial port near the capital Male.The 100-metre-long (328-foot) vessel was at an anchorage near Male on Thursday evening, according to the website Marinetraffic.

The Maldives’ pro-Beijing government said earlier the vessel was docking for a port call to rotate crew and take on supplies, on the condition that it would not conduct “research” while in its territorial waters.

Media reports in India had suggested that the vessel was conducting surveillance for Beijing.

India is suspicious of China’s increasing presence in the Indian Ocean and its influence in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, which are strategically placed halfway along key east-west international shipping routes.Relations between Male and New Delhi have chilled since pro-China President Mohamed Muizzu won elections last year.

Muizzu has asked India to withdraw 89 security personnel based in the Maldives to operate reconnaissance aircraft by March 15.But the president has also insisted he does not want to upend ties with New Delhi by replacing Indian troops with Chinese forces.

Sri Lanka refused entry to Xiang Yang Hong 3 after two other port calls from Chinese vessels since 2022 raised objections from India.That included the ship Yuan Wang 5, which specializes in spacecraft tracking and which New Delhi described as a spy ship. (AFP)

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MP Harsha in Australia as “Special visitor”

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Harsha de Silva

Opposition MP and Chairman of the Committee on Public Finance (COPF) Harsha de Silva is currently in Australia as a special visitor.

Taking to ‘X’, the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP said he had embarked on a nine-day visit on an invitation extended by the Government of Australia.

“My engagements with policymakers, academics, scientists and investment managers began in Melbourne and will continue in Adelaide and then public officials and politicians in Canberra,” he added.

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