Fishing in Eastern Sri Lanka

Fishing is the second largest livelihood in Eastern Sri Lanka. The province has a length of 507 km coastline which is equivalent to 32% of the country’s coastline. In addition, the province has around 3900 ha of brackish water lagoons and 3600 ha of inland water bodies that support the fishing industry in the region. The Eastern Province has 40% of the county’s fishing villages and 36.2% of the countries fish landings. A large quantity of export products are available within the Eastern Province continental shelf such as lobsters, prawns, Shark fin and beche-de-mer. Its natural coastal habitats including the coral reef, estuaries, lagoons (20 in number), mangroves, salt marshes, barrier beaches and small inlets contribute greatly to the fish production and provide habitat for fish and other aquatic organisms in the region. The fishing activities in the province can be broadly divided into four sub sectors—coastal, offshore, deep sea and inland fisheries.  

You can explore six types of boats used for fishing in the region - Inboard engine multiday boats, Inboard engine single day boats, Outboard engine fiberglass boats, Motorized / mechanized traditional boats, Non-motorized traditional boats, and Beach seine boats. Some time, you may also capture the interesting scene of women & men engage in fishing by walking into lagoons and small water bodies. In most cases, shrimps are caught in this way.   

Fishing is a year round activity. However, the windy season is not ideal for fishing. Early morning hours are the best to capture some fantastic scenic view of fishermen returning to the shore with their catches and the fishermen supporting each other to pull the net and boat out of the sea.


Tourists can also learn how to fish and even can enjoy a half day trip to lagoon fishing or deep sea fishing. There are individuals or institutions offering these services. Ask your Guide or the Tourists Information Desks at the hotels where/how to get these services. DON’T MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY!


Latitude: 6.875612 Longitude: 81.853121
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Simon Jones

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