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High Speed Catamaran Should Boost Sri Lanka’s Tuna Exports Sri Lanka, September 10, 13

Sri Lanka’s tuna exports are likely to experience a considerable upsurge following the construction of a high speed catamaran fishing boat expected to considerably increase the number of high-price tuna available for shipping.

The country’s exports to Japan, China and the Middle East are forecast to see a boost from the catch of the locally built vessel. The number of fish needed to be caught in order to ensure maximum profitability is thought to be reduced by 70 percent. In 2011, Sri Lankan flagged vessels caught just over 128,000 tons of tuna.

Trials of the prototype are expected to take place later this year. Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development has displayed a keen interest in the new vessel which it believes will help to put Sri Lanka as a leading nation in fishing-boat development.

Sustainability of Sri Lankan waters is also likely to be increased with the reduction of catch that the new vessel will provide. Onboard is the installation of high-tech refrigerated fish holds that eliminate spoilage and ensure that fresh fish returns to port at high speeds.

Currently around 80 percent of tuna that is landed in Sri Lanka is spoiled due to inadequate refrigeration to keep fish in the required conditions for long periods of time.

Deputy Fisheries Minister, Sarath Kumara Gunarante said: “Fish and Seafood represent a significant proportion of our GDP and export markets, and we welcome any development that will help our fishing industry stay ahead of the game.”

Sri Lanka is expected to see increased catches of bluefin tuna which can reach prices of almost double that of the yellowfin that is more commonly found in the nation’s waters.

Boatyard owner, Yostein Viksund said: “Stocks of tuna and other staple species are being depleted at alarm rates across the Indian Ocean. Our new boat will mean higher profits from fewer fish, which will greatly benefit tuna-stock sustainability as well as the Sri Lankan economy.”