Dec 09, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has emerged as the top tuna loin exporter to the European Union and is ramping up production aiming to earn a billion dollars from fishery exports in nine years, an official said. Senaratne said the island had cracked down on illegal and destructive fishing methods like bottom trawling to ensure the fishing industry was sustainable.
Sri Lanka exports around 172,000 tonnes of fish annually with its position in the Indian Ocean giving easy access to fishery resources that are in growing demand in export markets such as Yellow fin Tuna , Sword Fish and Marlin.
Janaka Ratnayaka, chairman of the Export Development Board, said the industry aims to earn a billion dollars in fresh water fish exports by 2020 although slower economic growth in key markets would have a temporary effect on demand.
“Fisheries is a promising sector to achieve our export target of 15 billion dollars by 2015. More than 120 Sri Lankan exporters are sending our fish products to destinations such as Japan, USA and the EU.” “We hope to increase fish production to nearly 600,000 metric tons by 2013, from the present production of around 400,000 tonnes,” fisheries minister Rajitha Senaratne said.