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Sri Lanka And Chinese To Compete With EU Tuna Fleet In IO

Sri Lanka’s Fisheries Ministry said last week that with the support of China’s big vessels, it was ready to compete with Europe in harvesting the Indian Ocean’s fish resources.

Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said that currently European countries, especially, France and Spain caught about 48 percent of mostly tuna in the Indian Ocean.

As the Europeans were doing so with the help of large deep-sea purse seiners, the tuna population in the Ocean had reduced dramatically, the minister said, adding that Europeans were harvesting and processing around 900 MT of fish per day using factory vessels.

The minister continued: “Within the last few days, we have started deep sea fishing with Chinese vessels and caught 900 MT of fish in international waters. We have already exported 90 percent of the catch and the balance 10 percent was given to Ceylon Fisheries Cooperation (CFC).”

He said that the modern technology should be used in Sri Lankan fisheries sector to bring it up to international standard.

A Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) would also be in place from next year. Under the system, fishermen at sea could be alerted if they were straying, crossing borders or encountering other dangers, he emphasized.