Fishermen want Sri Lanka to lift ban on dry fish imports

Fishermen and traders of Kasimedu want the Sri Lankan government to lift the ban on karuvaadu (dry fish) imports from India.

The Kasimedu fishing harbour sends around 500 tonnes of dry fish to Thoothukudi, from where it is sent to Sri Lanka.

Nanjil Ravi of Akhila Indhiya Meenavar Sangam said there were at least 10 traders, who depended on the dry fish trade with the island nation. “The ban on dry fish imports from India was supposed to be only for 100 days and it began in November. The time limit is over now, which is why we are asking that the ban be lifted,” he said.

Many types of Dry fish, including maasi karuvaadu, made from Yellowfin and Skipjack tuna, thenna koni and nethili, are processed and sent from Kasimedu. “About 150 containers of dry fish at the Thoothukudi harbour are waiting to be sent to Sri Lanka. The government is asking us to take up deep sea fishing but if we do not have the market for our catch, what is the use? Fishermen have stopped going on deep sea trips since we already have a lot of unsold dry fish,” a trader said.

He also said Sri Lanka had been buying dry fish from other countries. “Usually, the dry fish sent from here is repacked and sent to other countries. Even that has stopped now,” he added.

Officials in the Fisheries Department said it was an internal policy decision of the Sri Lankan government. “It was supposed to protect their economy that has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Union Commerce Department has taken this up with the Sri Lankan government. We have requested them to lift the ban,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 14, 2021 8:35:17 PM |

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