Executive Assistant & Office Manager
Educated as a fisheries biologist in Sri Lanka and United Kingdom, Aruna worked for the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) of Sri Lanka for 15 years. During his tenure as a fisheries researcher at NARA, he designed, executed and successfully managed number of vital studies to address resource management issues pertaining to estuarine and coastal ecosystems in northwestern, western and southern coastal waters of the island.
As the Science Director of MNCC, Aruna is currently conducting programs to increase Maliseet participation in conservation and management of natural resources in the Maliseet traditional territory. Since 2010, he designed and executed studies to gather traditional knowledge of Maliseet elders/knowledge holders for conservation of Species at Risk (SAR). With the help of Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy (AFS) working groups of Maliseet First Nations (MFN), Aruna conducted a number studies to evaluate traditional fisheries and fish habitat including restoration programs to enhance fish passage in the St. John River watershed, New Brunswick. Moreover, Aruna accessed funding from Regional First Nations Environmental Contaminants Program to test traditional Aboriginal food such as fiddleheads, moose meat/liver, speckled trout etc. for environmental contaminants.
The AICFI (Aboriginal Integrated Commercial Fishery Initiative) The AICFI program has four main components;
Enterprise Governance Enhancement
Management Practice Enhancement
Fisheries Co-Management Capacity Building
Commercial Fisheries Diversification
A description of each can be found here.