Sri Lankan specialty fish exports will receive a major boost with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program’s ratings organization in North America endorsing the Sri Lanka’s crab and lobster of high quality.
“With this rating Sri Lankan Crab and Lobster exports can look at more high revenue generating niche markets in US, UK, Australia and the EU,” President, Seafood Exports Association of Sri Lanka, (SEASL) Dilan Fernando said.
“With this accreditation Sri Lanka has now joined this elite global initiative, the blue swimming crab found in the Palk Bay and Gulf of Mannar are the first fisheries in Sri Lanka and the only blue swimming crab fisheries in South and To
South East Asia to be recommended by Seafood Watch,” said Sri Lanka Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP) Coordinator, Dr. Steve Creech.
He said that they have already invested over US$ 450, 000 to have several collecting centers and factories in the Noarth East to process crab fish generating over 1,000 employments especially for widows in the area. “We are also annually investing US$ 80,000 to up keep them.”
The increased value of Sri Lankan crab products will also safeguard the lives and livelihoods of thousands of Sri Lankan fishermen and their families who depend on these blue swimming crab fisheries for their daily income, in the North and Northwestern Provinces.
State Minister of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources Dilip Wedaarachchi said that they will extend his fullest support to the seafood industry, to researchers and to fishing communities to achieve more ‘eco-recommendation’ for more Sri Lankan fisheries, in the future. As an island this is an eye opening achievement to focus on the fisheries industry than before, which can bring sustainable development to the country. (SS)