© 2023 Dr Margaret Sheppard

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Types of Fishermen

There are several methods of fishing employed by the fishermen in Sri Lanka

Lagoon Fishermen - they may fish from orus or with nets that they cast out into the shallows  whilst standing in the shallower waters of the lagoons. Other lagoon fishermen are spear fishermen. They stand in the clear waters of a  lagoon and thrust their “spears” (sharpened poles” when they spot fish

Lagoon fisherman landing his oru

Wooden orus beached on the edge of a lagoon

Fibreglass orus. Fishermen fishing with nets and lines in the background

Seas surrounding the island are often rough especially during the monsoon seasons, therefore on many days they cannot fish. Thus fishermen typically have other occupations as well

Stick Fishermen

The iconic Stick Fishermen are perhaps unique to Sri Lanka. These fishermen sit up on their poles (sticks) and fish into the shallows with a rod and line. They may sit there for hours in the hot, dazzling sunshine. They can be spotted along the Southern coast road near Kogalla.

Spear Fishermen - this method is only possible when the waters of the lagoon are clear

Casting circular weighted nets into the lagoon waters

Fishing with a rod and line from traditional wooden oru

“Beached” wooden orus on the lagoon bank