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Small-scale fishermen in Sri Lanka increasingly threatened by the Covid pandemic by Melani Manel Perera November 24,2020   |  Source: AsiaNews.it

Sri Lanka’s small fishermen are losing their fishing grounds and are at risk of losing their fundamental right to life and sustenance, warned Herman Kumara, coordinator of the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (NAFSO), last Saturday, 21 November, World Fisheries Day.

To mark the event, NAFSO held a national meeting online. Working with of 17 other organisations, meetings were also held in person at the district level with a maximum of 30 people present.

Discussions centred on issues such as the national policy on inland reservoir fisheries, the social and economic situation of fisherwomen and the impact of the "blue economy" on the lives of small fishermen.

Fishing is a key sector in Sri Lanka. Some 175,000 people depend on small-scale coastal fishing. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a major blow for them.

To help the sector, Kumara has urged fellow Sri Lankans to eat fish and not believe rumours that it is contagious.

Speaking to AsiaNews, he said that the fishing community is not responsible for the second wave of infections; instead, the government is to blame for not enforcing quarantine measures to please their henchmen.

The activist also slammed plans by international institutions to exploit fish resources under the slogan of the blue economy, the


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