Sept 29, Colombo: Sri Lanka's seafood exports face the risk of getting banned within the next five years if immediate steps are not taken to prevent catching dolphins, the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development warned.
The Ministry said the long-line nets in multi-day fishing vessels catch the dolphins and stressed that the fishermen should take steps to prevent dolphins getting caught in their nets.
Minister of Fisheries Mahinda Amaraweera has informed his Ministry officials that the matter should be addressed urgently.
The Minister said there is a new device being used in the international fisheries industry to prevent the dolphins from getting attracted to the bait used in the long-line fishing and the Ministry will take immediate measures to distribute the devices to the fishermen free of charge.
Dolphin fishing is strictly prohibited under international fisheries law, the Minister said pointing out that in 2016, the United States purchased 29% of the country's total fisheries exports.
Minister stressed that the fisher community in Sri Lanka should take prompt steps to prevent the catching of dolphins to protect Sri Lanka's seafood exports to the international market.