A Review of marine fin fish fisheries research in Sri Lanka from 1902 to 1900

J. Jinadasa

Abstract


Fisheries Research in Sri Lanka started to gain momentum in the 195O'sfrom a low ebb prior to independence. It was because colonial rulers before1948 paid very little attention to develop fisheries. They were exploring possibilitiesto develop pearl oyster and window pane oyster fishery as it was a goodsource of revenue to their own countries.About 850 or more species of marine fishes are found in Sri Lankan waters.Taxonomic studies of some selected genera had indicated more species are presentnow than the number reported about 50 years ago. The biology, distribution,migratory behaviour and catching methods potential resources for some of thecommercially important large and small pelaglcs of the western coast have beenstudied. Relatively more research information are available on medium sizepelagics such as tuna which forms about 10% compared to the small pelagicswhichform about 80 % of the total catch. Very little attention has been paid tostudy the species on the north and the east coasts.Attempts have been made to improve certain types of fishing gears andcatching methods. studies in population dynamics, mathematical models, stockassessments, bio-economic studies are in their infant stages due to lack of longterm catch and effort data base. Further, information on demersal species are'leTyscanty.One major reason for the lack of research information could be attributedto lack of long term integrated research plan according to the need of the nation.At present research is mostly done on some selected aspects of a limited number ofspecies of fish and the work is also confined to south and west coasts of Sri Lanka.

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