Negombo has a thriving fishing industry and is home to the second largest fish Market in the Island. It is known to the locals as the “Lellama”. The fishermen have two options of either going out to sea to make their catch of fish or by fishing at the Negombo lagoon which is well known for its crabs, lobsters and prawns and is accessible through the canal system built by the Dutch to transport spices.
The fish market is situated right on the beach front and is visible from the lagoon bridge. It is opened throughout the week from 6 a.m. except on Sundays when most of the locals who are Catholic in faith attend church.
The fishermen unload their fish straight off the boat and the fish are sorted out by size and type to be displayed. Most of the fresh catch is auctioned off in bulk or bought by local hotels and restaurants, the diversity of the catch in no small way contributing towards fulfilling the dishes on their menus. The remainder of the catch is retailed to the populace of Negombo.
The fish market attracts marine enthusiasts and interested foreigners alike due to the diversity of marine life seen here from lagoon dwelling crabs to deep ocean sharks such as tiger sharks or the occasional rare bycatch, the smells, sights which include long knives, severed fish and kind fisher folk and the sounds unique to a fish market.