Dialog to provide weather and disaster warning data to Sri Lankan fishers

Fishing boats on Sri Lanka beach
COASTAL FISHERIES: Sri Lanka’s coastal fisheries are carried out with traditional craft and fiberglass boats with outboard motors.

ECONOMYNEXT- Dialog Axiata Plc, Sri Lanka’s largest mobile telco, will be providing location-specific weather and disaster warning data to Sri Lankan marine fishers free of charge, a statement said.

The text messaging service will be provided in partnership with the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Department and the Meteorological Department.

Those engaged in marine fishing (coastal and deep sea) around Sri Lanka can make use of the service, named ‘Sayuru’ in Sinhala, English and Tamil languages.

Around 600,000 Sri Lankans are directly and indirectly employed in fisheries, most of whom are in low-income segments, official data showed.

Of income from fisheries, over 80 percent was from marine fishing and aquaculture, and the rest from inland fishing.

Unanticipated weather causes severe risks to the coastal communities, of which many are engaged in fishing-related activities, Dialog said.

Sayuru will provide up-to-date weather and warning messages to communities based on where the mobile users are located, the firm said.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa launched the service at his hometown Tangalle, situated along the island’s southern coast.

Fishing made up 1.2 percent of Sri Lanka’s gross domestic product in 2018, and has peaked at 1.5 percent in 2014, central bank data showed.

The industry is the tenth largest merchandise export earner for Sri Lanka earning 262.5 million US dollars in 2019, which is 2.2 percent of the country’s total exports.

Most of the exports are destined for the US, Europe, Japan and Hong Kong, according to the International Trade Centre. (Colombo/Mar03/20320)

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