Title: Fuel subsidy in Sri Lanka fisheries: data analysis and possible improvements.

Author(s): Ragavan Nadarajah
Final project
Year of publication:
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Supervisors: Dadi Mar Kristofersson , Hörður Sævaldsson
fuel subsidy; Sri Lanka; data analysis; Jaffna;


Fisheries subsidy is defined as direct or indirect financial assistance to the sector from government or public organisations. In 2012 and 2013, the Sri Lankan government issued fuel subsidies to motorised fishing vessels due to high fuel prices. Non-motorised fishing vessel owners did not receive the subsidy. This study covers the impacts of fuel subsidy in Sri Lanka coastal fishery. By evaluating the impact of fuel subsidy on fishing effort and vessel profit in Jaffna coastal fisheries; by assessing the quality of Sri Lankan coastal fisheries data as input to fuel subsidy methods; and by identifying suitable ways to improve data quality and estimate the cost of modification. Six different types of fishing vessels are engaged in fishing activities in the Sri Lankan marine fisheries sector: four types of motorised fishing vessels and two types of non-motorised fishing vessels. For the evaluation, monthly coastal fisheries data were collected from three landing sites from the Department of Fisheries in Jaffna. Suitable methods for the evaluation were obtained by reviewing the literature of fuel subsidy in the fisheries sector. Analyses of available data in Sri Lanka coastal fisheries reveal the current data not to be sufficient as input to fuel subsidy methods. The number of vessel groups was skewed from one period to another (shifted), the catch by landing sites could not be separated by fishing vessels, and the data of fishing cost were missing (i.e. fishing hours and amount of fuel consumption). The author recommends three data collection methods to improve the data quality as a base for scientific decision making in coastal fisheries. Recommended methods were grouped by the technology required. The advanced complete enumeration is the most technological method, designed to monitor fishing vessels, fishing activities and landing sites with 24 hours surveillance. The complete enumeration data collection method monitors the landing site only with 24 hours of surveillance. In both methods, data is collected from all fishing boats at landing sites. The stratified sampling method is designed to collect a selection of fishing vessels from a landing site. These three methods vary in human resources, financial resources and technologies facilities. High quality data can be obtained from complete enumeration and lower quality data from the stratified sampling method. The complete enumeration methods are not economically feasible due to the large number of landing sites and lack of infrastructure in Sri Lankan coastal fisheries. Data collection methods in Sri Lankan coastal fisheries need be reinforced to fully evaluate the effects of governmental support to the fishing sector. The stratified sampling method was seen to be the most likely collection method, as it is most suitable to current infrastructure in Sri Lankan coastal fisheries.

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