Sri Lanka deters illegal fishing with observers on vessels
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka expects a European Union ban on fish exports to be lifted next year, having complied with most of the requirements to combat illegal fishing including placing internationally trained observers on deep-sea fishing vessels.
The country is making satisfactory progress on resolving issues raised by the EU concerning illegal fishing with reports being sent to the EU monthly, government spokesman Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said.
An action plan prepared to solve the issue includes major 57 tasks with 21 issues to be solved and 36 aims.
“Sri Lanka has fulfilled 30 out of 36 aims and the rest will be fulfilled soon,” Senaratne told a news conference.
The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development believes sanctions could be lifted by year 2016, he said.
The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development said among the measures Sri Lanka has taken was to deploy observers trained by the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission on board vessels of over 24 metres.
It was not practical to deploy observers on smaller vessels and an alternative system of inspection introduced to monitor their departures and arrivals.
(Colombo/July 17, 2015)