(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development has taken steps to implement program to minimize post-harvest damage to ensure the quality of the fish harvest.
Accordingly, The Ministry has taken a number of steps such as improvement of fishermen’s knowledge, modernization of fishing vessels, introduction of new hi-tech fishing vessels, the use of quality ice and water, the introduction of new technology for fishing, regularizing the fish harvest unloading process and improving refrigeration facilities at fishery harbors.
According to research done by National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA), post-harvest loss in fish quality in the island is 40 – 60 percent.
It has been found that about 40-60 percent of the fish catch by the fishermen is not suitable for human consumption, not even to make dry fish. This stock of the fish catch is destroyed without any benefit and the loss to the country is not negligible.
Currently, the contribution of the fisheries sector to the GDP for the national economy is 1.4 percent. If the post-harvest quality loss can be prevented that contribution can be increased up to 5 percent, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Mahinda Amaraweera says.
However, in view of the contribution to the country’s GDP, the fisheries sector is at 11th place, according to the Minister.
Therefore, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Mahinda Amaraweera has instructed officials of the Ministry to prepare the necessary programs to reduce the post-harvest wastage and to make the fisheries sector the third largest by the year 2020 by providing high quality fish for exports.