By Amadoru Amarajeewa
The government today withdrew restrictions on fishing in the seas off the Eastern coast, allowing fishermen to leave and return on fishing at any hour of the day. Governor of the Eastern Province Rear Admiral Mohan Wijhewickrema announced the lifting of restrictions at a meeting with representatives of the fisher folk at the naval office in Trincomalee today. Admiral Wijhewickrema added that only suspicious fishing craft will be subjected to security checks.
The governor stressed that fishermen are now free to engage in fishing in any area around the clock, excluding the high security zones in the Trincomalee Harbor. Commodore Sisiri Jayakody said the permit system applicable to the fishermen will also be abolished however advised fishermen to keep the permits already issued to them to prove their identity if and when required.
Restrictions on diving in the sea for fishing have also been withdrawn. The government has requested fisher folk to make the maximum benefits of the relief granted to them, subject to the common law of the country, in order to develop the fishing industry.