ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has decided to double fines on fishing boat operators who try to obstruct inspections by law enforcement authorities after laws were tightened to combat illegal fishing, a government spokesman said.
Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said the tougher laws had led to obstructions and threats against authorised officers trying to enforce the new rules, including the navy and the police.
The Cabinet of ministers had approved a proposal to double the minimum fine for obstructing an authorised officer to 50,000 rupees and to increase it according to the size of the vessel.
“Penalties on illegal methods in fishing have been increased to comply with international standards and to tally with the scale of the violations,” Senaratne told a news conference.
This was to comply with European Unions laws to prevent illegal fishing the violation of which had led to a ban on exports from January 2015.
The EU announced this month it would lift the ban as Sri Lanka has complied with its laws against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing with fish exports expected to resume by July.
(Colombo/April 27 2016)