Sri Lanka’s fisheries industry introduces Vessel Monitoring Service to track boats in Sri Lankan waters
A Sri Lankan fish exporting company has reportedly stated that the country’s fisheries sector is engaged in sustainable development and the introduction of a Vessel Monitoring Service (VMS) to track fishing boats in Sri Lankan waters in one such move.
Sashimi Fernando, Chief Sustainability Officer, Tropic Fishery, which is a tuna fish exporter, has reportedly told a business conference recently about the potential of the blue economy by saying that Sri Lanka now has good regulations to ensure all fishing is done sustainably.
This was after a government crackdown on illegal fishing which had prompted a ban on Sri Lankan fish exports to the European Union.
State Minister of Finance, Eran Wickremaratne has reportedly told the forum held by the Royal Norwegian Embassy and the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce that Sri Lankan fish exports to the EU were recovering fast after the ban was lifted.
“Fish exports slumped after the EU ban,” Wickremaratne has said, adding “Exports have begun to recover after the ban was lifted and were up 41.8% in volume and 48% in rupee terms in 2017 compared with 2016.”
Meanwhile, Fernando representing Tropic Fishery has been quoted as saying in the local media that the fisheries department was closely monitoring the movement of fishing boats and their catch after radio transponders were installed on them under the VMS.
“The VMS has made a big improvement in our sustainability levels,” she has told the forum.
Fernando has said Sri Lanka’s tuna fishing was more sustainable due to its reliance on small scale boats of 24 meters or less in length with only 6-8 crew members which operate without electronic aids like artificial fish aggregator devices.
Considering the increase in Sri Lanka’s fish exports, especially to the EU along with the improvements in the area of sustainable development of the local fisheries sector, It is a field open for foreign investments and foreign businesses could explore opportunities in the country’s fisheries sector.
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