Sri Lanka is again enjoying a high demand for fish exports from European countries since the revocation of European Union ban on fish exports last month, the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development said.
Since lifting the ban on 21st of June, Sri Lanka has exported 58 metric tons of fish to EU countries from 22nd to 29th of June and 152 Metric tons from 01st to 10th of July.
According to the Ministry, 36 fish processing factories, which were not functioning during the period of the ban, have resumed operations.
The figures were revealed during the progress review meeting of the Fisheries Ministry taken place under the patronage of Minister Mahinda Amaraweera on 14th of July.
Minister Amaraweera said that promotion of fish related products need to be enhanced due to the increase of fish exports. Since a high demand exists in the international market for Sri Lankan fish, a huge earning of foreign exchange can be made concentrating on fish related products, said the Minister.
He further said that Japan is purchasing Sri Lankan fish for their traditional raw-fish meals such as sushi and Sashimi. Therefore, fish processing factories in future will be given necessary facilities under government concessions enabling them to deliver a production that meets the high demand.
He also said that imports of Maldive fish could be ceased within the next two years since Sri Lankan industry of Maldive fish also shows a considerable progress. The ongoing Maldive Fish project in Pahajjawa is functioning successfully and each family processes 1000 Kg of Maldive fish per day and one kilo is sold at a price of Rs.900.
The amount lost to Sri Lanka due to the fish exports ban was Rs.18 billion annually and a revenue target of Rs. 20 billion is expected to be achieved by the end of next year, Minister Amaraweera emphasized.