The Declining pole and line fishery in Sri Lanka
AbstractPole and line fishing, which is specifically aimed at skipjack tuna has beenpractised in Sri Lanka for about 70 years. Originally, this method was popularamongst fishermen in the southern coast, and was later expanded to the easterncoast by migrant fishermen from the southern coast. In early 1960's the pole andlinecatcn contributed over 40% to the total tuna production in Sri Lanka. However,over the last 2-3 decades, the pole and line fishery has fallen to a relativelylow level of significance. in early 1960's, the fishing effort by pole and line wasabout 21% of the total fishing effort on tunas in the southern coast. It is nowreduced to about 7 %. The catch rates also show a decline by about 50%from1960's to 1980's. The total production of pole and line fishery during early1960's was 1200-2400 tonnes per annum, equivalent to 60% of the tunaproduction.The present production of 1057MT is equivalent to about 7%of the tuna productionin tne region. The decline is due to variousfactors such as limited supply of livebail, introduction ofdrift gillnets, scarcity of surface tuna schools etc.