The Ministry of Fisheries together with the National Aquatic Research and Development Agency are to strictly implement the law against any form of salvaging of ship wrecks. Deputy Minister of Fisheries Susantha Punchinilame said that the strict implementation will serve two purposes. “Salvaging of old ships are banned under the countries archeological act. On one hand a ship wreck provides the birth of fish colonies and on the other there is a lot of archeological value in the wrecks” he said,
Sri Lanka has over 50 major ship wrecks around the coastal reef of the Island. These wrecks provide a major tourism attraction with divers from all parts of the world visiting these wrecks. The Minister however said that examining the wreck for commercial divers would not be banned. “ There are many Sri Lankans and tourists who visit this country to examine the shipwrecks. This implementation would not affect them and they would be allowed to continue with their resea4rch. However, as a policy they will have to get approval if required and would be barred from taking out any part of the wreck” he said.
(By Hafeel Farisz)