ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s fisheries industry is gradually recovering from the last year’s shocks as currency stability returns followed by the continued fuel supply for boats to operate, an official said, while efforts are also being made to promote sea cucumber farming.
In 2022, the fishing industry was hit by diesel and kerosene shortages as forex shortages intensified in the wake of two years of money printing.
Sri Lanka’s rupee which fell to 360/370 to the US dollar is now around 320/330 to the US dollar.
“This time we have a good season for the industry because fish are available, and engine oil is available”, S J Kahawatta Director General in The Department of Fisheries told EconomyNext.
“There are no shortages fuel these days the prices of fish have dropped.”
Along with the fishing being restored, the ministry has also focused more on exporting sea cucumbers.
“There are many projects we are doing these days; we are doing a Sea cucumber project which has a big export market which is 4000 acres in the North-East regions in the island,” Kahawatta said.
The demand for sea cucumber in the international market is growing.
The price of one kilogram of sea cucumber in the international market garners a value of Rs 20,000 to 30,000, he said.
According to Sri Lanka Export Development Board data, in 2022 the overall export performance for the total fish and fisheries products was valued at 290.75 million USD.
In 2021, the island exported a quantity of 25,178,685 of fish totally and the value was 252,617 US dollars according to the Sri Lanka Export Development board report. (Colombo/Mar28/2023)