Sri Lanka has welcomed a European Union decision to remove it from a list of countries that fail to control illegal and unregulated fishing, ending a ban on imports of fish caught by Sri Lanka-flagged vessels.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Wednesday that the EU decision will help boost Sri Lanka’s fisheries industry.
An EU council meeting report said the decision was made because of Sri Lanka’s improved compliance with its international obligations and its introduction of a more efficient fisheries control and monitoring system.
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The government says Sri Lanka suffered USD 75 million (68 million euros) in lost revenue because of the ban, which was imposed in January 2015. Sri Lanka was a significant exporter of swordfish and tuna to countries in the EU.
Wickremesinghe said the government has also launched a program to modernize Sri Lanka’s fishery industry and is in discussions with Norway to obtain its assistance.