Government sends report on fishing to EU

MEAThe Government has dispatched a report to the European Union (EU) on the steps taken so far to meet the requirements of the EU on fishing.

The Foreign Ministry said that an EU delegation is scheduled to visit the country next month to assess the progress and will submit a follow-up report.

The EU has imposed a ban on fisheries products from Sri Lanka but the Government says it is confident the ban will be lifted next year.

Grace Asirwatham, the Director General on Economic Affairs at the Foreign Ministry said that the EU delegation is due in Sri Lanka from the 12th to the 17th of November.

She says once the EU delegation makes its assessment it will submit a report back to the EU and then the EU will decide if Sri Lanka meets the requirements to lift the ban on the fisheries products but the process will take time.

The ban on Sri Lankan fisheries products by the EU took effect in January this year but over the past 10 months the Sri Lankan authorities have taken steps to meet EU requirements.

Asirwatham said that among the decisions taken to meet the EU requirements are installing transponders and vessel monitoring systems on fishing boats and also increasing penalties for using illegal methods to catch fish.

“The technical team from the EU which will be in Sri Lanka next month will do an audit and also engage in dialogue with the relevant officials,” she said.

She also said that a steering committee established at the Prime Minister’s office was also scheduled to meet yesterday to discuss the progress on meeting EU requirements to lift the EU fishing ban on Sri Lankan products. (Colombo Gazette)