The Central Fish Market (PCFM) expressed concern over the escalating fish prices in the Peliyagoda Central Fish Market and warned responsible authorities to take immediate measures to provide diesel and kerosene oil subsidy even at least for registered fishermen who are engaged in the regular fishing industry otherwise all varieties of fish will be further increased in the coming weeks.
Speaking to Daily News PCFM, Chairman Jayasiri Wickramarachchi said even at the moment large number of fishermen in all fishing centres countrywide had kept away from fishing especially at night due to price increase of diesel.
The PCFM further says if the Government does not make a positive response to the recent request made from the Fisheries Ministry about granting a kerosene oil subsidy for fishermen such a situation will either resort into a trade union action or abstaining from fishing activities. “Keeping away from fishing will not only affect consumers but also star class and small scale hoteliers as well as seafood exporters,” he said.
He said due to the recent price hike of kerosene oil a large number of fishermen have stopped fishing and it is high time for authorities to take immediate action to rectify this situation by granting a fuel subsidy at least for registered fishermen unless there will be a collapse in the industry. According to the Government’s price increase the kerosene oil price currently costs Rs. 340 a litre which is unbearable for fishermen. He further said a large number of fishermen who are engaged in fishing in the deep sea will have to carry sufficient kerosene oil for their fishing activities. Jayasiri said his association has also repeatedly informed the fisheries Ministry to grant a kerosene oil subsidy but so far not received any positive response.
He said over 20,000 families depend on the industry and made a request from responsible officials either to reduce the kerosene oil prices or grant a subsidy for both kerosene oil and diesel.