Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India

Volume 35 Issue 1&2

Exploitation of small pelagic fish resources by the purse seiners in the southwest coast of Sri Lanka

Pauline Dayaratne

Purse seine fishing in the southwest coast of Sri Lanka became popular since 1982 and the number of units has increased to 29 in 1984. In 1987 there were 50 purse seiners operating in this region. A study of the purse seine fishery and its impact on other small scale fisheries were initiated in 1985. This paper presents the results of a survey for the period 1985 to 1987.

Purse seine fishery is carried out only during the calm months, from October to April. 3i tonnes boats with inboard engines are used in this fishery. The length of the nets range from 150-210 metres with an average depth of about 50 m and with a mesh size range of 16-23 mm.

The average catch per unit effort for purse seines tor 1985 and 1986 was about 185.7 leg/boat. The total production by the purse seine fishery in this area in 1987 was about 250 t. This contributes to about 30% of the total small pelagic fish production in this region.

Amblygaster sirm dominates the purse seine catches. Other important species are Decapterus russelli, Restrelliger kanagurta and Loligo singhalensis. Length frequency distribution studies of A. stmt show that the purse seines undertake fishing in the same area as the small mesh gill netters in this region.

Date : 31-10-1993