Sri Lankan Customs release Maldivian fish shipment

A fisherman sorts out the tuna after catching them | Photo: TheMaldivesExpert

Colombo, Sri Lanka – Sri Lankan Customs has released the Maldivian fish shipment which got stuck after the authorities revised their import regulations.

Foreign Ministry of Maldives had told that the fish shipment which got stuck at Sri Lankan customs after the import regulations of Sri Lanka changed had been cleared after Foreign Minister Shahid held discussions on the matter with the Sri Lankan officials.

Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid had held discussions with Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda and State Minister of Finance Ajith Nivard Cabraal on October 27, 2020.

Ministry also told that discussions on exporting Maldivian fish products to Sri Lanka with ease as before was still on going and that this would continue as previously guaranteed by the Sri Lankan government.

While some local Maldivian media’s have reported that Sri Lanka had banned Maldivian fish being imported in to the country, Sri Lanka had announced an increase on imported fish to the country. Sri Lankan authorities had told that this was done in order to safeguard the fisheries industry of the country.

Sri Lanka had increased it’s duty on imported fish, dry fish and the fish exported from Maldives under “Maldive Fish”. Sri Lanka had imposed an additional 302 Sri Lankan rupees (roughly USD 2) per kilogram of fish.

Fisheries and Agriculture Minister of Maldives, Zaha Waheed had assured that even though Sri Lanka had increased its duty on Maldivian fish, that it would not be of significant loss to the country. She also added that the ministry was working on exporting fish to more profitable markets such as China and Russia.