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Acting Director General, EDB, Himali Jinadasa (left) and Egodage (second from left) address the press and exporters on June 30 | Pic by Ravindra Dharmathilake

Sri Lanka’s fisheries exporters say that an electronic log book for vessels has been developed and discussions were ongoing on its implementation.

The electronic log book is part of the European Union (EU) requirement to lift the ban on Sri Lanka’s fisheries exports to the region, the other being the installation of vessel monitoring units (VMU) on the fishing boats.

According to President Seafood Exporters Association of Sri Lanka, Roshan Fernando, the log book, which was developed by the University of Colombo would be installed in the vessels and would be used to ascertain the sustainability of the fisheries products.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka has installed 320 VMU’s on vessels so far and another 250 would be brought down in the coming weeks. “We need to complete all this by September and I’m confident that we will be able to do so,” he said.

Meanwhile, Chairman, Export Development Board (EDB) said that the board was also working towards assisting the fisheries sector in trying to get the ban lifted. “We are not directly involved in the process, but have provided our solutions and assistance for the sector,” he said.

The EDB recently facilitated the participation of 127 local entrepreneurs at the Kunming international fair in China held recently.

As of June 30, the EDB had received the evaluations of 30 participants. Accordingly, the evaluations indicated that $1.2 million were earned in spot sales, while $850,000 confirmed orders were placed, and 728 business inquiries for future linkages were also made at the fair. The numbers are expected to increase as the remaining participants submit their evaluations.

Egaodage stated that the fair gave the needed push for Sri Lanka’s Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector, and had given them the opportunity expand their market globally.