Ceylon, 1953 (*Sri Lanka.1 from 1972) - The sea covers more than half the earth's surface yet provides only about 1% of man's food - to a great extent because the majority of the world's fishermen carry on their work with only wind and muscle for power. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) believes that, even in very poor fishing communities, engines can be put into boats and more than pay for themselves in extra catches. In Ceylon there are about 60,000 people whose main occupation is fishing yet they only take about 30,000 tons of fish per year - an average of about 20 lbs per week per fisherman. At the end of 1951 there was not a single motor-powered fishing boat in operation except tor one stem trawlen. At that time FAO sent a master fisherman, and later a marine engineer to the country to advise on mechanization of the industry. At the end of six months the fishermen all jumped at the opportunity to buy engines. Now 40 small diesel engines are being provided under the Colombo Plan and sold to the fishermen on easy terms and a number of private firms have started selling engines to the eager fishermen.
This photograph shows live-bait bonito fishermen standing on an out-riggercanoe or "oru" off the south coast of Ceylon. In very calm weather like this they are often unable to reach the schools of fish with they see moving by.