The fishing industry is facing destruction due to the Ministry of Fisheries allowing the importation of fish during the ‘Valala’ Season when there is ample fish harvest, Secretary of the All-Island Multi-Day Boat Owners’ Association Ruwan Fernando said.
He said that no matter how many requests are being made to the authorities to prevent the importation of fish during the ‘Valala’ fishing season from October to April, when there are abundant fish harvests in the seas around Sri Lanka, they do not heed.
He said the fishermen who are helpless due to high fuel cost will suffer further due to the fall in local fish prices when fish are imported.
Mr. Fernando said that multi-day fishing vessels have been severely affected by the importation of Cupra and Thalapath, while the fishermen who catch Linna have been severely affected by the importation of Salmon.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Fisheries is also of the opinion that the import of fish should be restricted, its Secretary Indu Ratnayake said.
She said that a tax of Rs.400 has already been imposed on imports and only essential types of fish are allowed to be imported since fish produce is abundant.
However, government sources said the import of fish has been increased due to the excessive increase in the price of fish by the local fishermen in the past.