Arugam Bay Fishing -v- Tourism issues

Traditional Fishing activities. A colourful old ox cart adds vibrant life to Arugam Bay beach

Arugam Bay fishing community should not be neglected over tourism- ABTA Chief

Immediate measures should be taken to address concerns of the fishing community in Arugam Bay, as they contribute towards developing tourism in one of the worlda??s top surfing destinations, said M. H. A. Raheem, Chairman of the Arugam Bay Tourism Association (ABTA).

A busy beach. Specially in the morning

Since the very beginning, Arugam Bay has been known as a fishing village, and the fisheries sector has become a major income generating source of the area. Over 600 fishermen are currently involved in the sector, where 1,500 families directly benefit from it.

Much of the catch is sold on the beach. And transported to Colombo Market

however, lack of adequate facilities, such as a proper boat yard, access to drinking water and sanitary facilities and the non-availability of an information centre, have posed a serious threat to the fishermen operating in the area, explained Raheem.A?A?Furthermore, recent floods have also had an adverse impact on fishing activities with a number of boats disappearing.

Explaining further, he said, a??beaches of Arugam Bay Kopa cytotec online are shared both by tourists and the fishermen. During the tourist peak season, fishermen are not able to carry out their activities here. We request the local government authorities to take urgent steps to look into these concerns and improve conditions.a??

The next Bay to the South, Kudacally Bay. Is perhaps a good alternative to Arugam Bay. To shift larger scale fishing activities to this deserted area. Just 8 Min. South.

Editors Note:

Order lariam psychosis Ambitious ABTA Chairman / President Mr. Rahim is contesting the local election at present (No. 9).
Therefore, part of his statement could be seen as a party political broadcast.
To please the Fishing Community; who are of course also valuable voters.


8 Responses to “Arugam Bay Fishing -v- Tourism issues”

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  • 03/24/2011 15:44
    Colombo focuses on tourism at the expense of fisher people
    by Melani Manel Perera
    The goal is to turn Sri Lanka into a ‘Wonder of Asia’. Tourism can jumpstart the country’s economy and create jobs. However, the needs of local fishing communities must be taken into account. Their livelihood is at risk from new projects.
    Colombo (AsiaNews) – The government of Sri Lanka plans to promote tourism as a pillar of the country’s economic development and a way to counter the economic crisis caused by the very long interethnic conflict between Sinhalese and Tamils. The goal is to turn the island nation into a “Wonder of Asia”, to quote President Mahinda Rajapaksa. But not everyone is convinced. Although billions of rupees in revenue are promised, many warn against forgetting the needs of ordinary people who are at risk of becoming victimised a second time.

    AsiaNews spoke with Mano Rawatte, a Sri Lankan who teaches programming at a US university. For him, “focusing on tourism to jumpstart the economy is a good idea, but it must take into account the fact that other Asian nations have been doing the same for many years.”

    According to the university instructor, the various projects proposed by the authorities should focus on job creation in non-traditional activities (like fishing and farming).

    However, “I seriously doubt if the environment will be protected or enhanced with expanded tourism unless strict rules are enforced to protect the beaches, remove garbage, and protect coral reefs,” he said.

    In fact, Rawatte is concerned about the problem of corruption, which is widespread in the tourist sector. This would be especially true if a casino is opened.

    “It is a way of making a lot of money that could be reinvested in rural school development,” he explained. However, casinos should “be for everyone, not only tourists.”

    At the same time, “social ills like drug addition, gambling and sex tourism are already present in the country and they won’t get worse for this,” he said.

    Herman Kumara disagrees. For the social activist and secretary general of the World Forum for Fisher People, the consequences of this kind of development will be far more negative than any benefits it might bring.

    Sri Lankans are mostly employed in fishing and farming. To develop tourist projects without taking into account this reality is “dangerous”.

    Projects like the ‘Sea Plane’ venture “harm not only the coastal marine ecosystem in some areas, but also the life of communities. Fisher people in Kalpitiya, Panama, Arugambay, Nilaweli and Negombo base their subsistence on fishing. Depriving them of that in favour of tourism means depriving them of their lives.”

    According to the controversial project, seaplanes would be used to bring tourists to hard-to-get places. Currently, it is on hold.

    For Kumara, tourism does remain an important factor in promoting economic growth. The solution lies however in cooperation between the government and its citizens.

    “We expect the authorities to involved individual communities to start development from the ‘bottom’ up. This way, people, their livelihood and lands can be protected.”

  • The biggest problem facing the fishing folk of Arugam bay is over fishing.As Edwardos comments the amount of fishing boats and the huts popping up all over the beaches is not doing anyone any good.All these fisherman who live on the beaches do not have proper toilets,or proper garbage disposal,and most of them have a dogs.The only place they can dump rubbish,use the toilet or there dogs to go to the toilet is on the beach.This problem has only got worse with every visit I have made my last visit was 3months ago.If you talk to the locals there issue is not the tourist but the people who illegally build these huts on the beach and settle there with there families and dogs.the country needs tourism and better accommodation and better value for money.In return the locals will have a better sense of life and appreciation.Done correctly and sensibly it will never turn out like a thailand or Bali and I am extremely confident the Sri Lankan people or the governing bodies will ever allow this to happen .So don’t decide whats good for them,ask the locals what they want and they will tell you it is not tourism that scares them its the people who move in there illegally witch also include foreign hippies. ASK A REAL LOCAL,not a expat. Brian

  • Not only are the fisherman at risk of losing their livelihood, but other locals that have been there for thirty to forty years are now being told they will be removed from their land, to make way for roads & other infrastructure. Why, to satisfy the greed of some who were nowhere to be seen during the hard times, when the war was ongoing. Now these poor families, who are only trying to look after their own families, will lose everything so some rich blow-ins can get richer, taking advantage of Arugam Bay’s beauty & their power. Leave the locals alone!

  • Its is true that it would be a shame if the bay lost more of its beauty
    and the locals there livelihood. Though the number of boats on the beach is a joke there was not half as many before the tsunami and most of the fishermen on the beach are not locals hence the temporary fishing huts that house fisherman from all over.The overfishing and lack of regulation needs to be addressed or when the fish are all gone the locals will have only tourism.

  • Everyday life, farming and fishing is what makes the area and arugam bay such a special place; to ruin its beauty and the lives of people just to please tourists is such a shame. The tourists are pleased with the way it is: raw, simple, and real; not superficial and sad & lost (this is the western world en mass).
    People should understand that keeping it organic, simple and natural is the real beauty which will attract the tourism. Not the other way round.
    The people of Arugam Bay should and must look after them selves first, and then work around the possibilities and the land they have around them to satisfy the tourist. Not the other way round. This land and beach belongs to the farmers and fishermen, not to the tourist.
    I promise you, speaking form a touristic and western view point, that if you keep it simple and let the people of the coast be self sufficient like they have been for as long as they remember, tourism will arrive for this very reason.
    Please don’t turn this beautiful spot like the islands in Thailand, before you know it you will have 7/11 shops all over, loud music everywhere and unhappy locals just for the sake of tourism which will only bring material meltdown and tons of idiots from abroad.
    Keep it pure and simple, nice people will come, eco turism will flourish and everyone is happy.
    Thank you for reading. Raffaella

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