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Operations at Oluvil Harbour to re-commence

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Canned fish producers meet local demand, upbeat over levy increase
CFMASL President Shiran Fernando addressing media. Picture by Wimal Karunatillike
CFMASL President Shiran Fernando addressing media. Picture by Wimal Karunatillike

Operation will commence shortly in the the now defunct Oluvil Harbour with over Rs 20 million spent to refurbish the cold storage and factory in the harbour, Shiran Fernando, President Canned Fish Manufacturers Association of Sri Lanka. (CFMASL) said .

The government needs to help them in this endeavour by improving the infrastructure like dredging the harbour mouth and with operations commencing it would create a huge boost to the area and the livelihood of the people who live there, he opined.

The increase of special commodity levy(SCL) on a kilo of imported canned fish by Rs 100 by the government also came under praise of the CFMASL.

Speaking to the media Fernando said their association now produces 300,000 fish cans daily which is more than the total daily requirement of the country which is 250,000 and the government must increase the SCL on imported canned fish further to boost government revenue and provide a level playing field for local canned fish manufacturers. Fernando said every container of imports is a container of unemployment to the country and whatever could be produced in the country should be done here and not imported.

He requested the Fisheries Ministry to introduce modern technology by providing a sea water cooling system and new trawlers.

“What happens now if 5,000 kilos are caught only 2,000 kilos are brought a shore in good condition. The balance rot due to nonavailability of ice and cooling system.”

He said Fisheries Minister Duglas Devananda and Fisheries Ministry Secretary Indu Ratnayake have been cooperative towards their submissions and if they receive the necessary support could even look at exporting canned fish in the future and the government must give more attention to the fisheries sector and provide fishermen with new boats and sea water cooling systems for concessionary rates to improve the catch and introduce a monitoring mechanism to end illegal fishing methods and more funds should be allocated to the Fisheries Ministry.

Fernando said that there were several unregulated canned fish factories which have sprouted out recently and authorities should look to regulate these factories in the future adding that there is a demand from Sri Lankans for local canned fish in Australia, Middle East and Korea.



Thursday, January 26, 2023 – 01:00

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