Fishing and Sea Clean


After the Tsunami we began our fishing boat project and named our first boat ‘LOVEDAY’ after a generous sponsorship from a beautiful lady named Loveday, who sadly died from cancer soon after her gift. The boat provides livelihood for 3 very poor Negombo fishing families. Rajan is the ‘captain’ and works hard in difficult circumstances. He and his wife Mary Romilla and three children currently live in a broken down one-room shack, with no kitchen or bathroom. Seeing this has inspired our RE-BUILD A FISHERMAN’s BROKEN DOWN SHACK project. We are hoping to rebuild some of the very broken down houses inhabited by many fishermen. They and their families live with only rough shelter and little protection from torrential monsoon downpours.


Our original plan had been also to buy and equip a number of catamarans for East Coast tsunami devastated fishermen. However, we were later advised by Upali that large charities had over-donated boats, which were being sold off by non-fishermen. Meanwhile, NO-ONE could actually fish as the sea was full of post-tsunami debris. With our donors’ agreement we used the funds to begin our sea clearing project. We helped Upali to buy two compressors which enabled him to work with Solidarités, a large French charity.

A partnership between Star Action and the French charity Solidarités has seen air compressors and divers’ tanks provided by us, and funds to pay the diving team (twenty-two divers), inflatable underwater parachutes and expert guidance from Solidarités.

Debris dragged back into the sea by the tsunami waves as they withdrew, has been moved by the team from long stretches of the coastline. Rather than pull these items up the beach, each has been taken out to sea to build a reef. The cleared sections are now free to be fished for prawns without nets being torn or snagged. The new reef will encourage fish and prawns to breed. As many as 74 palm trees were taken from the sea in one small section by the divers from small boats, with the support of the inflated parachutes. Upali Perera has led our diving teams and their combined work has ensured that many hundreds of fishermen and other linked workers have been able to return to employment.

Star Action is also donating high quality depth gauges, so all divers working with Upali, under the aegis of Star Action, have access to this vital piece of safety equipment. Prior to our gift, divers were regularly losing their lives after going deeper than the recommended safety limit.

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