Solar LED Technology for Prawn Fishing in Sri Lankan Lagoons

technology poverty reductionNagenahiru innovation of the of Solar – LED Technology to replace the burning of kerosene during night Prawn catching is a sustainable strategy to reduce poverty of poor fisher men in Sri Lanka,

Traditionally Prawn Fishing system in Lakes in Sri Lanka is by using traps known as “Ja- Kotu ” in local language made of interwoven bamboo panels with inter- connected three catching chambers where the entrance to the trapping chamber is fitted with a non-return devices, allowing the fish to enter the trap but making it impossible to leave the catching chambers. At present, fishermen use kerosene lanterns for prawn fishing. Three trapping chambers are interconnected and fisherman light three kerosene lamps in each catching chambers and two lamps at the both sides of the catching chamber to attract prawns spending more than 3.6 L of kerosene every night. Generally a Fisher Family spent more than 30 % of their family income to purchase kerosene for night fishing.

On the other hand one prawn catching chambers burns 3.5 Liters of kerosene every night to light seven kerosene lamps emitting more than 40 thousand MT of Carbon Dioxide per year at the rate of 3.14 KG of Carbon dioxide by burning 1.2 L of Kerosene.

Kerosene is a hydrocarbon and emits CO2 to the atmosphere after combustion. The annual CO2 emission is in the range of 1.7 to 2.0 tons from one catching device. CO2 is a green house gas (GHG) and emission of CO2 to the atmosphere and facilitate the global warming the critical issue to the world.

solar technology fishingDuring the high wind it will blow up and fishermen have to regularly ferry to the enclosures to light the lamps. Secondly, when they pour kerosene from cans it will spill on to the breeding ground of the fish, prawns. In some occasions, enclosures were burnt down due this kerosene spilling. This affected poor fishermen as their livelihood was burnt down. While handling the kerosene lamps at the prawn catching device, kerosene get mix with water. The mixing of kerosene with water causes water pollution.

Local fuel prices also get increase. For an example the local kerosene price got increased by three times during last two years. So with this situation the cost of production being getting increase and have to be find alternatives The world crude oil price gets increase rapidly at present and due to this the to sustain this field.

Solar PV and LED Lamps as Alternative Solution
Sri Lanka is a tropical country and solar energy is available through out the year. Generally solar energy falls 6 to 8 hours per day and at fully cleared day (without having clouds) the average solar energy falling intensity is 950 to 1000 W/m2. So Solar lighting is one of the solutions that can be introduced for Prawn catching inserted of kerosene lamps.

Nagenahiru strongly believes that this innovation will brighten the lives of millions of poor fishermen in developing world in future.