Lanka hooked by fresh conditions for exports to EU

criminalA Sri Lanka delegation that had talks with the European Union to avert a ban on fish exports has been slapped with fresh demands.The fresh demands include establishing a mechanism to inspect and monitor all multiday vessels, the delegation led by Minister Sarath Amunugama was told.  Other demands put forward by the EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries are a proper Vessel Monitoring System, and regulations against white shark fishing, the Sunday Times learns.

The EU was earlier concerned only about inspection and monitoring of the vessels in excess of 15 metres length operating under the Sri Lankan flag. Sri Lanka has only 35 vessels over 15 metres length in operation. However during the discussions the EU has raised concerns about the country’s mechanisms on inspecting and monitoring Multiday vessels. Sri Lanka currently has more than 3000 multiday vessels.

Despite the delegation explaining that white shark is not a fish variety caught by Sri Lankan fishermen, the EU team, unsatisfied with the explanation, has been insistent on regulations prohibiting fishing of the species. The delegation was also questioned about the progress of setting up of a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) to keep track of all Sri Lankan multi-day trawlers operating in international waters. The EU has raised concern over the slow progress in the installation of the system, Fisheries Ministry sources said.