Comparative Study on the Economics of Large and Small Scale Marine Fishing Operations in Sri Lanka




The fishing units operating in the marine waters of Sri Lanka have been generally categorized into two types namely off-shore/deep sea fishing units and coastal fishing units. Large scale fishing operations comprise multi-day boats and small scale fishing operations comprise FRP boats traditional motorized as well as non-motorized crafts. Craft-wise and location-wise, earnings and expenditure were analyzed on the basis of crew share and owner's income. Average monthly net income of a multi-day boat owner was about Rs 24445.Whereas for FRP boats, motorized traditional crafts, non-motorized traditional crafts and theppam this was about Rs 9228, 5329, 1389 and 4413 respectively. Income of a crew member of a multi-day boat was about Rs 12750 per month. This was Rs 5494, 1478, 694 and 1471 of FRP boat, motorized traditional craft, non-motorized traditional crafts and theppam respectively. Generally crew income of small scale fishing crafts except FRP boats was below the level of national per capita income. Income of a crew member of non-motorized oru was below the poverty line. Analysis of boat length/engine horse power in relation to fuel consumption, margin per day and return to capital indicates that the most profitable combination was 38 feet/54 hp combination where, margin per day and return on capital were Rs 11100 and 48% respectively. A FRP boat annually earns Rs 14589.50 as resource rent (pure profit) from the fishery. All other crafts suffered a pure loss. Social conditions such as ownership of permanent house sanitary facilities were higher among multi-day boat owners than among small scale craft owners. Also small scale fishermen were used to take loans for consumption needs.


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