Sri Lanka Welcomes EU Decision to Lift Ban on Fish Products

In this April 13, 2010, file photo, people fly kites as others watch the sunset on the last day of the Sinhala year, in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Photo: Manish Swarup / Associated Press

COLOMBO — 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 Friday 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.

The government says Sri Lanka suffered USD$75 million (2.6 billion baht) in lost revenue because of the ban, which was imposed in January 2015.

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.

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