Awareness programme for fishers, Kalpitiya © St. Sebastian Fisheries Coop Society, 2012
Bar Reef Marine Sanctuary – the largest marine protected area in Sri Lanka – runs parallel to the coast from the northern end of the Kalpitiya Peninsula, to the islands which separate Portugal Bay from the Gulf of Mannar. It has high ecological, biological and aesthetic significance, being the home of 156 species of coral and 283 species of reef fish. In 1992, the Bar Reef was declared a Marine Sanctuary (306.7 km²), under the jurisdiction of the Department of Wildlife Conservation.
Despite this measures of protection, Bar Reef is threatened by many anthropogenic activities such as overexploitation of fish resources, unsuitable fishing methods (such as deep purse-seining, which damages coral and depletes fish resources) and pollution from human activities (shrimp farms and agriculture). Rapid development of tourism, focused in particular on dolphin and whale watching, could also pose a threat to this habitat.
Educating communities of the area about the Bar Reef Marine Sanctuary – highlighting its values and the threats to its habitat – will serve to increase awareness and in the long-term, serve as a stepping stone to reduce threats.
273 members of six Fisheries Co-op Societies.
Importance of the Bar reef Marine Sactury has been recognized by the community.
5 display boards have been put up.
communications products - 5 display boards with environmental messages.
Majority of trainees are males as fishing is a male dominated livelihood activity in this area.
Bar Reef Marine Sanctuary, Kalpitiya
1st May 2011 to 29th Feb 2012
"I hope the community is now aware of the importance of the reef and therefore, the threats to the reef will be minimized" Mr Roy Priyantha.