Sri Lanka’s largest coral region uncared for and neglected

By Hiran P Jayasinghe

Environmentalists say neglect of Sri Lanka’s largest coral area located in Kandakuliya in the Kalpitiya peninsula will result in the loss of this cherished coral reserve. The reserve is said to be the most precious of all coral regions.

In 1992 NARA intimated to the government the value of the 42 sq. km area which resulted in the department of wild life declaring it an ocean reserve on April 3rd that year.

According to NARA as many as 420 varieties of fish live amidst the 120 varieties of coral found in the reserve.

C.C F members holding awareness programmes with fisherfolk.

According to concerned persons the total reserve area covers 307 sq metres which is part of an unprotected 42 sq. km stretch of coral which anyone could enter. This despite the fact that the area has been designated an ocean reserve and declared a sanctuary. If the area had been designated a botanical reserve however, permission would have to be obtained to enter the area.

Since the area is freely accessible it should be strictly supervised and protected. Unfortunately this is not the case. Ffishermen spread their nets unmindful of the damage the nets cause to the coral. What is even worse is that some persons resort to dynamiting fish within the reserve and this is ruining the coral.

Since 1992 the wild life department has not taken any steps to preserve its rarity and save it for posterity.
It was amidst this deteriorating situation the Coast Conservation Foundation commenced a programme to enlighten fishermen on the value of the coral and the danger their activities were posing.

The foundation through its awareness programmes obtained the co-operation of the fisherfolk to recently clear the area of rubbish. Speaking on the venture its Chairman U. Mallikarachchi said it was imperative to obtain the co-operation of the fisher folk to protect the corals and help them understand the dangers their activities posed.

Foundation project manager H. Amarasekera said fisherfolk needed to be educated on the value of the coral reserve and the need to protect it.

The Asst. Director of the Wild Life claimed the department’s preoccupation with wild elephants may have been one of the causes for the neglect of the reserve. He confessed departmental officials had not known the value of the reserve though some officials from the Karuwalagaswewa range visited the place on occasion.

He added newly recruited staff were well versed in the subject and with co-operation of fisher folk in the area the department would launch a program to save the sanctuary.

Top to the page  |  E-mail  |  views[1]
Other News Articles
20% devaluation or IMF bailout
Heavy clashes: 20 Tigers, 7 soldiers killed
CID hunts for MTV news chief
India again asks for Prabha
Germans retaliate to summoning of envoy
Amunugama gets finance job also
Delinquent pensioners’ payments to be stopped
Global crisis hits Southern exports
Sri Lanka presses claim for more GSP plus concessions
No bail for Tissainayagam
Bellanwila Deputy Chief appointed Anunayake
US Pacific Command team meets EP Chief Minister
Bless for soldiers
Level admissions field for all schools
Independent commission salary increases
Pillayan’s PS chairman remanded for dog theft
Relief programme for families from the North
Getting ready for people fleeing heavy fighting
Civilians must be protected: UN tells LTTE and Govt.
More to come, says military
Armed forces poised to take last bastion of LTTE
MTV attack: Mystery deepens as police trail temple lead
Empty chairs at PC polls rallies
Railway protesters are not budging
After the victory: Full-scale development in the north but no racist appeasement
Sri Lanka’s largest coral region uncared for and neglected
Recycling industry in the dumps


Reproduction of articles permitted when used without any alterations to contents and a link to the source page.
© Copyright 2008 | Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka. All Rights Reserved.| Site best viewed in IE ver 6.0 @ 1024 x 768 resolution