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Sri Lankan Gov’t Commits To Support Smaller Tuna Fishers

The Sri Lankan Ministry of Economic Development said Thursday that priority would be given to local fishermen selling tuna fish to recognized export companies.

Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa said this at a meeting held to discuss problems multi-day trawler owners were facing.

Rajapaksa said the government would provide multi-day, high sea trawler owners with the opportunity of getting a good price when trading high quality fresh tuna fish, since there is a big demand for Sri Lanka tuna in the world market.

He also said that steps would be taken to construct jetties in coastal areas for anchoring trawlers and to reduce taxes on fishing nets and other implements for boosting the fishing industry.

Representatives of multi-day trawler owners stressed the need for getting the best prices for tuna fish, reducing taxes on fishing implements, construction of jetties and using modern technology to develop the industry in an environment-friendly manner.

Security forces have been instructed to conduct their searches of multi-day trawlers without unnecessarily delaying the vessels.

Attention was also focused on using information technology to daily check tuna export prices and also the quantity of fish that should be transported by each vessel before they reach land.

Represented at the discussion were the Tuna Fish Exporters Association, Multi-day Trawler Owners Association, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Ministry, Finance Ministry and the Economic Development Ministry.