Sri Lanka to get fish canning plants

Dec 28, 2010 (LBO) – Two fish canning plants are to be built in Sri Lanka next year to supply both the export and domestic markets, fisheries minister Rajitha Senaratne said. Fish production has been increasing since the island’s 30-year ethnic war ended in May 2009. “By the end of next year, we aim to have a local canned fish industry,” he told a news conference.

“Two exporters are ready to open two canning factories. They will export part of their production and sell the rest in the local market.”

Seneratne said the government aims to increase fish production to around 500,000 tonnes in 2011 and the increased supply would bring down fish prices.

Sri Lanka produced 293,170 MT of fish in 2009 and has set a target of 349,300MT for this year but is unlikely to reach it.

Total national marine fish production up to October 2010 is 265,500MT, up 11 percent in the same period last year, but below the target.