Canadian Investor Plans to Grow Sri Lankan Reef, Asian Tribune, 12/18/06
By Sunil C. Perera
Source: Asian Tribune
Colombo - A Canada based company, Sea Culture Ltd plans to breed Coral Reef in Sri Lanka.
Pramuk Wijesingha : “While our members partners have first hand knowledge in the marine industry which is a hobby. We have engaged prominent consultants in the field to provide their guidance.”
The project is 100% externally funded by a group of investors from Canada and the principle aim is to demonstrate that environmentally beneficial methodologies can be used to farm coral, anemones, invertebrates, and other marine wildlife that is in demand by the marine aquarium hobby industry.
According to the investors the company hopes to start its operation by early next year in Sinnapaaduwa, Chilaw.
The company plans to invest US$ 200,000 initially and hopes to provide 56 employments to Sri Lankans.
"While our members partners have first hand knowledge in the marine industry which is a hobby. We have engaged prominent consultants in the field to provide their guidance," said Mr Pramuk Wijesingha , a businessman from Canada and a member of the of the group of investors , who also has wider knowledge on Coarl Reef breeding .
He said coral reef experts – Anthony Calfo, and Todd Gardiner had visited Sri Lanka to provide first hand consultation and is regularly contacted for detailed advice.
"We believe that the success of the Sri Lanka Aquaculture project will be of interest worldwide. The publicity worldwide will bring a light to Sri Lanka’s wildlife, its embrace of environmental conservation, tourist opportunities, healthy climate for doing business, and that there is more to Sri Lanka than an ongoing conflict," he said.
"While we have made significant progress with the assistance at all levels of government, we are still awaiting licensing to propagate coral by the National Wildlife Service. We need to get this resolved as soon as possible so that we can match the successes in Indonesia and the Philippines," he said.
According his plans, the company would not exploit the local coral reefs, but hopes to grow coral reefs in tanks, in Sinnapaduwa.
We already developed basic infrastructure in this site and it would be expanded on demand, he explained.
"Within two to three months we can start our new business in Sri Lanka, which has a huge demand from Europe and Canada," he said.
"This is an environment friendly business and the initial investment is very low," he said.
In Canada coral Reefs are growing in Green Houses with artificial light, but in Sri Lanka it can be grown without green houses and artificial light.
Initially the company will train 10 local youth to maintain the farm and hope to increase their workforce gradually.
The company has already constructed 20 tanks and plans to increase to 200 tanks.
By any measure, coral reefs are among the most diverse and valuable ecosystems on earth. Coral reefs occur in over 100 countries, most of them developing countries without the capacity or financial resources to adequately manage these vital resources. Reefs support at least a million described species of animals and plants, and another 8 million coral reef species are estimated to be as yet undiscovered.