New laws to meet EU standards on fishing

Indian-fishermenThe cabinet has approved new laws on fishing as part of moves to convince the EU to remove the ban on Sri Lankan fisheries products.

The EU ban took effect in January this year as the former Government failed to prevent Sri Lankan fishermen from violating the international fisheries laws.

The new Government has prepared and is implementing an action plan to remove the ban .

A proposal made by Mahinda Amaraweera, Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development, to amend the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act No 02 of 1996 has been approved by cabinet.

Accordingly penalties for the offences done in international waters will increase to conform to international standards.

Penalties will be decided based on the quantity of fish and the size of the vessel at the time of the offence. The new law will also see a new method of administrative penalty which is absent in the current act, and create a sustainable and responsible fisheries culture in Sri Lanka.