The Cabinet has granted approval to set up a vessel monitoring system to conduct search and rescue operations as well as to monitor illegal activities being carried out along naval routes.The projects will be funded by Australian grant funding, and will be carried out according to necessary legal requirements.
Approval was granted following the resolution submitted by the Minister of Fisheries, which called for taking necessary actions for affixing the said vessel observation system across a procurement process conducted by the International Organization on Migrants and utilising a grant of AUD 5.38 million from the Home Affairs Department of Australia.
Following the accord proposal 15/03 of Indian Ocean’s Tuna Commission which was put forth, the government issued a statement outlining the following:
- a vessel observation system should be set up, to control illegal and informal fisheries activities carried out across naval routes.
- the location of multi-day fishing vessels in the ocean should be located
- search and rescue operations during disasters should be implemented
Sri Lanka is already in possession of a vessel observation system. Operations were set up in 2015 under the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. It contains satellite technology for 1,250 multi-day fishing vessels and based on newly introduced proposals, another 4,200 such multi-day fishing vessels will soon be added.