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Sri Lanka Wants To Expand In Deep Sea Tuna Fishing Sri Lanka, July 27, 12

Sri Lanka expects to further expand its offshore and deep sea fisheries in the ensuing years, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said.

Sri Lanka’s off shore and deep sea fish haul had grown significantly over the last three decades from a mere 2,150 tons in 1980 to 130,000 tons in 2010, Dr. Senaratne said.

He added that Sri Lanka had exported around 9,000 tons of seafood, worth about USD190 million, mainly tuna and shrimp to the EU, Japan and USA.

“We wish to diversify our product range and markets, with special focus on the Japanese, US, Chinese, East European and other markets,” he added.

The Ministry has taken steps to increase the total marine fish production of nearly 570,000 tons marine fisheries alone by 2013. It hopes to achieve a per capita annual fish consumption of 21 kgs, from the present 15kg.

Meanwhile, Vietnam has agreed to provide substantial support to Sri Lanka in the agriculture and fisheries sector with technology transfer on inland fisheries, aquaculture, ornamental fish breeding and production of high yielding plant material.

Dr. Senaratne held discussions with Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam Cao Duc Phat and senior ministry officials during his recent visit to Vietnam.