As a result of Sri Lanka’s inability to control unregulated fishing practices, the European Union (EU) first gave a yellow card, and then a red one to the Sri Lankan Fishing Industry. The ban extended to fish caught by fishing vessels that carry the Sri Lankan flag.
After an 18 month assessment.
Sri Lanka have now got the all clear to be able to resume exporting fish to the EU after long diplomatic negotiations and a willingness to adapt to the rules and regulations imposed by the EU.
According to the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development, the Fisheries Sector accounts for 1.8% of Sri Lanka’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with fish production amounting to 535 metric tonnes in 2014. There are over 270,000 fishermen who depend on fishing for a livelihood.
This welcome reprieve should hopefully be a big boost to the fishing industry, now enabling Sri Lankan exporters to reach the valuable EU market.
In a bid to increase productivity by modernising their equipment and fishing facilities, help is being sought from Norway. With a long tradition in fishing, it is hoped that Norwegian expertise will help Sri Lanka back on its feet again to be a worldwide provider of fish to the EU.