Sri Lanka is yet to reap full financial benefits from ornamental fish exports, said Director, Lumbini Fish Exports International, Vibhu V. Perera.
He said that only few know that Sri Lanka is the largest guppy fish exporter to the world and is among the top 10 exporters of ornamental fish.
“However, if given the proper guidance by the government, Sri Lanka can be among the top five exporters,” he said. Currently, Sri Lanka exports ornamental fish to around 50 countries and the annual turnover is less than US$ 3 million. “However, there is an annual growth of around 10% and more Lankan companies are moving to export.”
Speaking at a workshop on “Prevention of Diseases in Ornamental Fish in Sri Lanka” organized by Lumbini Aquatic Resources Conservation (LARC), he said that if the government gives proper guidance and assistance, Sri Lanka can easily double the export revenue in a few years. The workshop was conducted by Dr. Gerald Bassleer from the Netherlands, who is a highly acclaimed fish pathologist and possesses over 40 years of experience in the industry.
He said Sri Lankan exporters comply with all EU regulations and hence there is tremendous value for Lankan fish. “We must also emphasize that in contrast Malaysian bred carps are not being accepted in some parts of the world since they have issues of standard with the EU.”
He said that Lumbini was the first aquarium in Sri Lanka to be set up in 1952 and today is the largest ornamental fish exporter and has several breeding sites and also an outgrower system. “In our business of exporting live aquatic products, taking care of the delicate aquatic lives from the time of harvest to the shipment is of vital importance in order to retain the quality of the products. Fish can experience stress and trauma during harvest, storage in aquaria and shipment and we educate those in the industry on the importance of adopting sustainable practices all the time to minimize the damage to the aquatic living beings.”
He also they are not allowed to catch fresh water fish in Sri Lanka and breed them under recent legal regulations. “However, other countries that imported Sri Lankan fish varieties before the ban have now bred them and are re-exporting them.”
Sources : dailyNews