Fish exports to top US $ 1 b by 2015
Production to increase with North, East harvesting:
Sri Lanka can reach a one billion dollar income from fish exports by
2015, INFOFISH Governing Council Chairman Janaka Ratnayake said.
Ratnayake addressing the event
The value of exports has increased from US$ 103 million in 2005 to
US$ 202 million in year 2010.
The main export markets for Sri Lanka are European Union, Japan and
the USA by more than 120 Sri Lankan exporters.
Speaking at the inauguration of 26th INFOFISH Governing Council at
the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel Colombo yesterday he said 85 percent of
total production of fish in the country is consumed locally and only 5
percent is exported.
This quantity is received by using one third of the coastal line.
Sri Lanka has a coastline of around 1,700 kilometres and the coastal
zone is of considerable socio-economic importance. Therefore, with the
entire coastline being liberated and the north and east is fully
operational the production will be enhanced and export will be increased
going beyond self sufficiency.”
From January to October 2011, Sri Lanka produced 309,580 metric
tonnes of marine fish and 47,450 metric tonnes of freshwater fish. Sri
Lanka exports around 172 million tonnes of fish annually.
Over 95 million tonnes of fish are imported to the country but the
bulk of it is re-exported.
The Export Development Board has directed its market strategies to
capture more shares in the export market by focusing on the products
having high growth trends.
The fish and fishery product sector has been identified in the EDB
strategic plan for year 2010-15 as a priority product sector which can
be developed to reach the expected target.
He said the Government is taking action to rebuild and modernize
fisheries infrastructure in the areas affected by the conflict.
The EDB has many strategies to strengthen this sector such as seafood
exhibitions. Ratnayake said as the regional body for development of
fishery industry, INFOFISH has provided a remarkable support for the
member countries including Sri Lanka by providing up to date market
information, technical advisory services.
Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Rajitha
Senaratne said fisheries is important to Sri Lanka as it provides
livelihood to nearly half a million persons while catering to the
growing animal protein requirement of the population.
He hoped to increase production to nearly 600,000 metric tonnes by
2013 from the production of 400,000 metric tonnes and to double the
aquaculture production to 90,000 metric tonnes to support this effort.
The INFOFISH sessions will continue till December 10.