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Spatial data analysis for the marine fisheries and habitat management of Sri Lanka

Author:

D. D. G. L. Dahanayaka

The Open University of Sri Lanka, Nawala, Nugegoda, LK
About D. D. G. L.
Department of Zoology, Faculty of Natural Sciences
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Abstract

Satellite Remote Sensing (RS) can be effectively used for the fisheries applications, including stock assessment, management of marine resources and fish harvesting. Further, there is an extensive range of fisheries related applications of RS data, including identifying marine managed areas, detection of harmful algal blooms, bycatch reduction, long term monitoring of fisheries related habitat changes and control of illegal fishing. Applications on RS related to marine fisheries sector in Sri Lanka, seem to be meager. Limited studies have been conducted on the fisheries related ecosystem damage assessment using RS after December 2004 Tsunami disaster. To fulfill the gaps of research on coastal fisheries identified, the author conducted some research on habitat changes such as monitoring of land use changes and water quality at economically important estuarine environments around Sri Lanka using multi temporal satellite imageries. In these studies, several environmental issues have been addressed such as localized eutrophication, disturbance of water circulations and sudden fish kills etc. Furthermore, since satellite RS is a useful tool that could be applied for planning marine fisheries development in Sri Lanka, the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) is currently conducting forecasting of fishing ground using satellite data for off-shore/ high seas fishery, providing accurate information on large pelagic fishing grounds considering sea surface temperature and chlorophyll distribution. As illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing is a serious threat to the long-term economic and environmental sustainability of Sri Lankan oceans, RS techniques exhibit great potential for supporting to develop fisheries monitoring system around Sri Lankan waters which is timely important for control IUU fishing. VIIRS Boat Detection system of NOAA and Global Fishing Watch were discussed as the possible systems that can support the future monitoring and management of Sri Lankan marine fisheries sector. This paper summarizes the present RS related applications to the marine fishery sector of Sri Lanka. Further, it also provides guidelines for sustainable management of the sector that can result from RS, and identify existing applications which can effectively support the marine fishery management of the country.

How to Cite: Dahanayaka, D.D.G.L., (2018). Spatial data analysis for the marine fisheries and habitat management of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Journal of Aquatic Sciences. 23(1), pp.37–47. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljas.v23i1.7545
Published on 01 Mar 2018.
Peer Reviewed

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