While saying that the fishing activities in the adjoining sea areas where the X-Press Pearl vessel caught fire had been suspended since last Sunday (23), Kanchana Wijesekara, State Minister of Ornamental Fish, Inland Fish & Prawn Farming, Fishery Harbour Development, Multiday Fishing Activities and Fish Exports said there is no fear in consuming fish from the market.
Speaking at a press conference, he said today the decision to suspend the fishing activities was taken as per the recommendations given by the Marine Environment Protection Authority and other relevant authorities.
“Accordingly, the Fisheries Department ordered to suspend all fishing activities in the sea off Panadura to Negombo. Therefore, we urge people not to be deceived by the reports that say it’s dangerous to consume fish and consuming fish has been temporarily suspended,” he said.
“Those people who have already bought fish during last few days should not panic and neither those who are buying fish from the market in future,” he affirmed.
The State Minister also said they have taken steps to suspend fishing activities in the adjoining sea areas in the coming days as well.
Meanwhile, he said the Government had decided to provide a financial assistance for fishermen, who have to abstain from fishing considering the situation.
“Accordingly, we are collecting details on those individuals who depend on the fishing industry in Negombo and Colombo areas and those individuals will be compensated for their loss of income due to the suspension of fishing activities,” he underlined.
“A discussion in this regard held with the officials of the Finance Ministry and necessary arrangements will be made soon,” he added.