“Huge potential for dried fish exports overseas” | Daily News

“Huge potential for dried fish exports overseas”

Karunarathne at his processing centre. Picture by Wimal Karunathilake
Karunarathne at his processing centre. Picture by Wimal Karunathilake

Sri Lankan entrepreneurs should utilise the huge potential for dried fish in the world market, Danushka Karunaratne, who is engaged in the dried fish industry said.

He said there is a huge market share for high quality dried fish in local and foreign markets as well. Therefore new entrepreneurs are welcome to this new sector, which hasn’t been well utilised so far.

Karunaratne said that especially young entrepreneurs, who can see the future in different angles, should enter this field since it will be a right solution for the foreign exchange scarcity which is experienced these days.

“The huge market share available in the world market can easily bring millions of dollars. What we have to do is to produce high quality dried fish for foreign markets aiming to create a brand name,” he told the Daily News Business.

He said it is required to impose certain criteria for the dried fish industry as there are no such regulations. Therefore it can be seen that fish are kept drying in open areas in sunlight even at dusty places. It is very important that dried fish should be processed under controlled

atmosphere in covered huts, which receive enough sunlight. Dried fish prepared in such places under controlled parameters has a huge potential both in local and foreign markets. He added that high quality dried fish including sprats has a huge demand in the local market also. An import tax has been levied for dried fish and therefore the volume of dried fish imports has come down. This situation has also created a positive impact for local producers to meet the local demand locally.

Karunaratne said that he has undergone practical and theoretical training in high quality and hygienic dried fish production and utilised that knowledge he gained in his production process. Besides he has developed his own methods for quality improvements “I am ready to share the knowledge I gathered in dried fish production with the new players, who are willing to enter this field,” he said.

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