Batticaloa District is known as the land of the singing fish, it’s also known as the land of lagoons. The District has three major lagoons flowing through it:
- Batticaloa Lagoon.
- Valaichchenai Lagoon.
- Vaharai Lagoon
Of the above, Batticaloa lagoon is the largest in the district as well at the largest in Sri Lanka and is estimated to cover approximately 12,000 ha and is 56Km in length. The lagoon opens into the Indian Ocean at Kallar, close to the Batticaloa/Ampara district border and at Palameenmadu, close to Batticaloa town.
The lagoon is largely dependent on rain water, but is also fed by small streams. The openings to the ocean are naturally narrowed by sand beds created by the flowing waters during the latter part of the rainy season. The lagoon mouth continues to be narrow throughout the dry season and opens up during the rainy season.
Around 70% of Batticaloa's population depends on agriculture and fishing activities linked to the lagoon as their primary source of income. The lagoon houses mangrove swamps and some sea grass beds that are prime locations for fish and shrimp reproduction. The lagoon also attracts a wide variety of local and migratory water birds