The Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Mahinda Amaraweera has issued directives to the officials to take steps to render necessary facilities for alternative bait cultivation as a remedial measure.
It is in this context, the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development has decided to grant a subsidy of Rs.500, 000 and a plot of land for those who show an interest in embarking on the program of Milk fish (Vekkaya) farming which can be used as an alternative bait for fishers engaged in deep sea fishing.
The minister further added that a land at Madhu River in Balapitiya and another land in Chilaw District have been identified and also has arrived at a decision to give priority and assistance to enhance the livelihood status of those who come forward to engage in Milk fish farming.
Apart from that, the prospective cultivators of Milk fish (Vekkaya) will be benefitted by providing financial provisions through a state bank under a concessionary loan scheme, the minister said.
Since, there is a strong potential that the price of Squid imported from China would keep escalating in near future, promotion of milk fish farming in the country would augur well for the fisher community.