Coastal Aquaculture in Sri Lanka: Opportunities and Environmental Challenges

Abstract views: 535 / PDF downloads: 152


  • J.M.P.K. JAYASINGHE Faculty of Livestock, Fisheries and Nutrition, Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, Makandura Gonawila- 60170, Sri Lanka
  • UPALI S. AMARASINGHE Department of Zoology and Environmental Management, University of Kelaniya, Kelaniya- 11600, Sri Lanka


BMPs, Coastal aquaculture, Environmental issues, Sustainable development goals


In Sri Lanka, coastal aquaculture has been a recent development which was mainly concentrated in the north-western province (NWP), and was severely affected by the outbreak of White Spot Virus (WSV) during 1990s. In the proposed Aquaculture and Culture Based Fisheries Sector Development Plan (2021-2025) of National Aquaculture Development Authority of Sri Lanka (NAQDA), under the coastal aquaculture sub-sector, the objectives set out are to increase the coastal aquaculture production from 20,000 t in 2020 to 60,000 t in 2025. To achieve the envisaged targets in coastal aquaculture and mariculture, NAQDA has planned to launch several new development projects. Conventionally, the black tiger prawn, Penaeus monodon was cultured in Sri Lanka, but recently the Pacific white shrimp Penaeus (=Litopenaeus) vannamei was introduced mainly to revive the shrimp farming sector, which has faced crop failures caused by the fatal white spot disease. Development of aquaculture of several other species such as sea bass, sea cucumber, milkfish and mud carb is also envisaged. In Sri Lanka, there is an urgent need to revise the effluent quality standards for coastal water bodies used for aquaculture. In addition to maintenance of water quality, appropriate technologies should be in place to mitigate the problems related to sediment loading.  Aquaculture farmers should strive to adopt, maintain and improve better management practices (BMPs) in all aspects of farm operations. Adoption of BMPs during site selection, pond construction and preparation, selection of post larvae for stocking, bottom sediment management and disease management may also reduce the risk of the impacts due to climate change.


Alday-Sanz, V., Brock, J., Flegel, T.W., McIntosh, R., Bondad-Reantaso, M.G., Salazar, M. and Subasinghe, R. (2020). Facts, truths and myths about SPF shrimp in Aquaculture. Reviews in Aquaculture, 12(1); 76-84. doi: 10.1111/raq.12305

Angel, D. & Freeman, S. 2009. Integrated aquaculture (INTAQ) as a tool for an ecosystem approach to the marine farming sector in the Mediterranean Sea. In: D. Soto, ed. Integrated mariculture: a global review, pp. 133–183. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper No. 529. Rome, FAO. 183 p.

Arulananthan, K. (2005). Anthropogenic effects on the dynamics of coastal ecosystems in Sri Lanka. Proceedings of the International Workshop on Fisheries and Aquatic Research in Sri Lanka. 29-31 March 2005, National Aquatic Research and Development Agency, Colombo 15, Sri Lanka

Arulananthan, K., Rydberg, L., & Cederlof, U. 1995. Water exchange in a hypersaline tropical estuary, the Puttalam lagoon, Sri Lanka. Ambio 24: 438-443.

Boyd, C.E., McNevin, A.A., Davis, R.P., Godumala, R. and Mohan, A.B.Ch. 2018. Production methods and resource use at Litopenaeus vannamei and Penaeus monodon farms in India compared with previous findings from Thailand and Vietnam. Journal of the World Aquaculture Society. doi: 10.1111/jwas.12524

Briggs, M. (2005) Introductions and Movement of Two Penaeid Shrimp Species in Asia and the Pacific. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper 476, FAO, Rome.

Briggs, M., Funge-Smith, S., Subasinghe, R., Phillips, M., 2004. Introductions and Movement of Penaeus vannamei and Penaeus stylirostris in Asia and the Pacific, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, RAP publication 2004/10, Bangkok. p. 2004.

Byron, C.J., Bengtson, D., Costa-Pierce, B. & Calanni, J. 2011. Integrating science into management: ecological carrying capacity of bivalve shellfish aquaculture. Marine Policy 35: 363–370.

CBD 1994. Convention on Biological Diversity. Text and Annexes. UNEP/CBD/94/1. Switzerland.

Corea A.S.L.E., Jayasinghe J.M.P.K. and Ekaratne S.U.K. (1993), Effects of water quality of shrimp farm effluents on brackish water bodies of the North - Western province of Sri Lanka. – Proceedings of 1993 Annual sessions of National Aquatic Resources Agency

Corea, A.S.L.E., Jayasinghe, J.M.P.K., Ekaratne, S.U.K. and Jonstone, R. 1995. Environmental impacts of prawn farming on Dutch Canal: the main water source for the prawn culture industry in Sri Lanka. Ambio 24: 423–427.

FAO 2020. The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2020. Sustainability in action. FAO, Rome.

Flegel T, Alday-Sanz V. (1998) The crisis in Asian shrimp aquaculture: current status and future needs. Journal of Applied Ichthyology 14: 269–273.

IUCN 2009. Aquaculture site selection and site management. Spain, International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN. 313 p.

Jayasinghe, J.M.P.K. 1991. Utilisation of acid sulfate soils in Sri Lanka for the culture of Penaeus monodon. PhD Thesis, University of Stirling, Scotland, 210p.

Jayasinghe, J.M.P.K. 1995. Shrimp aquaculture and the environment. Sri Lanka study report. Bangkok, Asian Development Bank and the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia–Pacific, RETA 5534, 32p.

Jayasinghe, J.M.P.K. and MacIntosh, D.J. 1993. Disease out-breaks in the shrimp culture grow out systems in Sri Lanka. Journal of Tropical Agricultural Research 5: 336–349.

Jayasinghe, J.M.P.K., Gamage, D.G.N.D. and Jayasinghe, J.M.H.A. (2019). Combating Climate Change Impacts for Shrimp Aquaculture Through Adaptations: Sri Lankan Perspective. 287-309. In: Sustainable Solutions for Food Security: Combating Climate Change by Adaptations. Atanu Sarkar, Gary, W. van Loo eds.: Springer International Publishing. ISBN: 978-3-319-77877-8.

Jayasiri, H.B. and Rajapaksa, K. (2000) Salt and Water Balance in the Mundel Lake: A strongly choked coastal lagoon. Journal of the National Aquatic Resources Research & Development Agency 36: 12-25.

MoMD&E (2016). National Biodiversity Strategic Action Plan 2016-2022. Colombo. Sri Lanka: Biodiversity Secretariat. Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment xxi =284 pp.

National Strategic Plan for Sustainable Aquaculture Development (2015).

NAQDA, 2021. Aquaculture and Culture Based Fisheries Sector Development Plan (2021-2025). National Aquaculture Development Authority of Sri Lanka, Colombo. 111 p.

OECD/FAO (2013). OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2013, OECD Publishing.

Ravichndran, P., Panigrahi, A., Kumaran, M., 2009. Biology and culture of Litopenaeus vannamei vis-Ã -vis Penaeus monodon. Handbook on Seed production and Farming of Litopenaeus vannamei 46. CIBA Special publication, p. 70.

World Bank (2014). Sustainable Aquaculture.

Wyban, J. 2007. Thailand’s white shrimp revolution. Global Aquaculture Advocate May–June: 56–58.









How to Cite

JAYASINGHE, J., & AMARASINGHE, U. S. (2021). Coastal Aquaculture in Sri Lanka: Opportunities and Environmental Challenges. Journal of the Indian Society of Coastal Agricultural Research, 39(2), 1-14.