Fisheries Minister upbeat over SL achieving Rs. 50 b in seafood export by year’s end

Monday, 5 March 2018 00:30 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Mahinda Amaraweera


  • Fish exports earn over Rs. 28 b in 2017
  • Says notable performance indicates positive impact of removal of IUU ban on fisheries exports to the EU, regaining GSP Plus facility
  • Outlines EU, the US, Japan, Russia as major export markets; plans to explore more Asian markets with impending trade and economic partnerships
  • Reiterates Govt’s commitment to provide more facilities to encourage seafood exporters 
  • Calls on stakeholder support to make fisheries industry third highest foreign exchange contributor to the economy by 2020

By Charumini de Silva

As Sri Lanka’s pro-growth reforms gather pace, capitalising on impending trade and economic partnerships, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry expressed optimism over achieving ambitious seafood export revenue of Rs.50 billion by the end of this year.

“Last year we had record foreign exchange revenue of Rs. 28.68 billion from fish exports and we are confident that this year we will be in a position to double that amount to Rs.50 billion,” Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Mahinda Amaraweera told the Daily FT.

According to him, foreign exchange earned from the export of seaweed recorded Rs. 5.3 million, while lagoon shrimp recorded Rs. 1.931 billion and freshwater shrimp earned Rs. 154 million. In addition, ornamental fish reached Rs. 1.67 billion, while other seafood exports have also helped earn a significant amount of foreign exchange.

While the majority of the seafood had been exported to the European Union, the Minister said a significant quantity of fish was also exported to the US, Japan and Russia. He said Sri Lanka was also looking at exploring more Asian countries in the future with impending trade and economic partnerships. 

He said the notable performance in seafood exports indicates the positive impact of multiple factors such as the removal of the illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) ban on the exports of fisheries products to the EU and regaining the EU GSP Plus facility. 

Further, he outlined improved production, quality standards andan increased number of vessels as also contributing to the record income earned from seafood exports last year.

“The new vessels equipped with improved facilities helped the fishermen to bring in fresh catch, while processing factories also carried out operations keeping in line with the international standards,” Amaraweera added.

With a relatively small supply chain channel and state-of-the-art storage and packaging facilities available to almost all fishermen communities and seafood traders, he said Sri Lankan seafood reaches its destinations across the globe in the most natural and fresheststate.

Reassuring that the Government would provide more facilities to encourage seafood exporters in the country, he called on all stakeholders to cooperate to make the fisheries industry the third highest foreign exchange contributor to the national economy by 2020.