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Sri Lanka trying to avoid European fisheries ban

October 15, 2014

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka will address European Commission concerns about its fishing industry to avert a possible import ban, an official said Wednesday.

Fisheries Ministry spokesman Narendra Rajapaksa said it is confident of being able to avoid the ban on fisheries products.

The European Commission proposed the ban on Tuesday, saying Sri Lanka has not sufficiently addressed shortcomings in its fisheries control system.

The commission said Sri Lanka failed to comply with international and regional fisheries rules, and sanctions for violations were not clearly stipulated.

“The move comes after four years of intense dialogue with the country after which it could not demonstrate that it sufficiently addressed illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing,” the EC said in a statement. It said the ban would take effect in January 2015 in order to avoid disrupting ongoing commercial contracts.

The EU imported 74 million euros ($94 million) worth of fish from Sri Lanka in 2013, according to EU figures.

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