Sri Lanka begins exporting fisheries products to the EU

Mahinda AmaraweeraThe Government today began exporting fisheries products to the European Union (EU) following the recent lifting of a EU ban on fisheries products from the country.

Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that the first batch of fish exports following the lifting of the ban was sent to Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

He said that Sri Lanka will now export fisheries products to several other EU countries as well.

The European Commission recently said that after a lengthy dialogue process Sri Lanka has now successfully reformed its fisheries governance system.

Sri Lanka was issued with a yellow card in 2012 and listed by the Council in February 2015. This was the result of a long standing failure to address serious shortcomings in the implementation of control measures, a lack of deterrent sanctions, as well as the failure to comply with international and regional fisheries rules.

Sri Lanka has subsequently amended its legal framework, strengthened sanctions and improved its fleet control.

Sri Lanka was previously the second biggest exporter of fresh and chilled swordfish and tuna to the EU with exports worth EUR 74 million in 2013. (Colombo Gazette)