The government on Thursday welcomed initiatives by the construction industry to introduce new technology for the development of the fishing industry and thereby tap the vast resources available within.
The introduction of new technology is important for the industry and in particular for the development of the aqua culture, Fisheries Minister Felix Perera said yesterday at the inauguration of the seminar on ?Development of Sustainable Inland Fish and Shrimp Culture Industry in Sri Lanka? conducted by the Chamber of Construction Industry Sri Lanka.
The minister was referring to the new technology on the Tennessee Valley Authority`s ReCip Technology to improve Sri Lanka`s Aquaculture industry that was yesterday introduced at the seminar by Dr. Naresh Handagama, a senior scientist attached to the Tennessee Valley Authority, USA and a visiting Professor of the University of Tennessee, USA/University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka.
Minister Perera pointed out that Sri Lanka is far behind in terms of the shrimp industry with most farmers having abandoned work on this field; however, he observed that the government is aiming at resuming operations on this sector of the industry.The government has allocated sufficient monetary assistance for the development of aquaculture including the shrimp industry in Batticaloa, he noted.
He asserted the view that with the fishing industry not obtaining the maximum gains, the next generation is not entering this sector of the economy which is a very dangerous trend.
Meanwhile, Minister Perera said that with about 100 million prawn farmers in the country, the government has agreed for the granting of an year`s concessionary period to repay their loans.
It has been observed that of the total harvest about 40% is going waste, the minister noted adding that they would be initiating corrective action in a bid to protect the fishing industry in Sri Lanka.
He also noted that the European Union visited the country recently with the objective of assessing the situation concerning the fisheries industry.
The CCI conducted seminar involved insights by two of the respected scientists at the Tennessee Valley Authority, USA namely Dr. Leslie Behrends, Fisheries Expert and Owner of the patent ReCip Technology and Eng. Dr. Naresh Handagama.
Scientists at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), and in collaboration with the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), are continuing to develop and refine an innovative wastewater treatment system referred to as reciprocating subsurface-flow constructed wetlands. Reciprocation relates to patented improvements in the design and operation of paired subsurface-flow constructed wetlands, such that contiguous cells are filled and drained on a frequent and recurrent basis.
This operating technique turns the entire wetland system into a fixed-film biological reactor, in which it is possible to control redox potential in alternating aerobic and anaerobic zones.
Reciprocating systems enable manipulation of wastewater treatment functions by controlling such parameters as hydraulic retention time, frequency of reciprocation, reciprocation cycle time, depth of reciprocation, and size and composition of substrate. These improved wetland technologies have been used for treating municipal/domestic wastewater, high strength animal wastewater, and mixed wastewater streams containing acids, recalcitrant compounds, solvents, antifreeze compounds, heavy metals, explosives, and fertilizer nutrients.
Reciprocating wetland systems have proven to be scaleable and highly efficient at removing wastewater contaminants including BOD5, TSS, metals, solvents, explosives, nutrients, and pathogens.
The exposure of diverse biofilms to anaerobic and aerobic conditions on a frequent and recurrent basis provides novel treatment environments that are not available in conventional designs. Because they are so effective, reciprocating wetlands require less land than conventional wetland treatment systems.
By incorporating deep graded substrates and under-drains into reciprocating systems, it is possible to utilize energy efficient low-head, high-volume pumps.
Thus, both capital costs and operating costs can be significantly reduced with reciprocating systems as compared to conventional wastewater treatment systems. Reciprocating wetlands technology will be very competitive in the expanding decentralized wastewater market because of its simplicity, diverse treatment capabilities, and low capital and operating costs.
TVA has licensed the patented reciprocating technology to regional and national engineering firms, small consulting companies, and other government agencies to expedite technology transfer.
Discussions will also be focussed on using Reciprocating Wetlands technology to improve Sri Lanka`s Aqua Culture Industry as well.