ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka Navy will be official tasked with carrying out hydrographical surveys in territorial waters and exclusive economic zone around the island with NARA and a National Maritimes office will co-ordinate activities with the relevant agencies, a government statement said.
The hydrographic services were initially carried out by the Sri Lankan navy in the 1960s, however it was officially transferred to the National Aquatic Resources Agencies, a national institute vested with the responsibility of carrying out and coordinating research, development and management activities on the subject of aquatic resources, in 1984.
“Even Though it was transferred, the navy was providing our assets and resources in continuing the activities,” Captain Indika De Silva, the Navy Spokesman, told EconomyNext.
“Under this service, doing any survey or any other activities inside our territorial waters and in our exclusive economic zone which is more than 7 times our land mass is prohibited and must be approved by the authorities,”
“And also through these services we are doing all these maritime charts and everything, also even though the duty is with NARA, we were supporting it and the contribution of the Navy is immense in these duties.”
Through the approval of the decision, the Navy will be re-enlisted as a legal stakeholder of the duties as it was in early 1960s, Silva said.
The decision has been taken according to recommendations of a sub – committee that was appointed with the Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation that was appointed in September to study the possibilities of entrusting the Navy with hydrographic duties.
(Colombo/ Dec 06/2022)