Today there is much concern of the need to conserve and manage our wildlife resources in Sri Lanka for the benefit of the present and future generations. The island has a coastline of about 1,500 km, including lagoons, estuaries and bays. Fisheries play a central role in supplying about 65% of the animal protein consumed by Sri Lankans. The coastal fishery provides the major portion of this, the inland irrigation reservoir fishery also adding a significant percentage. With the rapidly increasing human population, the island’s fish resources are being exploited at an ever-increasing rate. This will lead to over-exploitation, which will result in the depletion of stocks. Thus, proper scientific management of these resources should be given pride of place.
Wildlife always played a significant role in the life of the Sri Lankan, the elephant being the flagship species of Sri Lanka. Harvesting wildlife from land and seas is one of the earliest forms of land use known to man, but wildlife resources have never been exploited in any significant manner in Sri Lanka. Wildlife is a resource comparable with forests, and so could be sustainably utilized to generate financial benefits to the people who co-exist with it. If a population that is not small or declining can be exploited in such a way as to take from it a sustained yield, and if this yield can benefit mankind, then such sustained yield harvesting need not conflict with the goals of conservation biology. Game management is the art of making land produce better sustainable yields.
Employability in echo systems management t is on the rise with booming tourism industry and the global trends in flora and fauna conservation. The present M.Sc. programme is designed to provide the interested graduate student with the necessary theoretical and practical background in Fish and Wildlife management. It will provide the necessary background to the fish and wildlife managers as well as to those who are involved in research in these fields.