Sri Lanka’s seafood exports plunged in 2015 after the European Union slapped a ban on fisheries products, accusing the nation’s government of not doing enough to tackle illegal fishing. Having addressed the problem, seafood exports resumed in June 2016, and now, Emirates SkyCargo is making sure that Sri Lanka’s seafood exporters have the capacity to make up lost ground.
The freight division of the Dubai-based airline said that it is currently transporting about 100 tons of edible fish a week from Colombo to markets in Europe and the United States.
“The support Emirates SkyCargo provides Sri Lanka’s seafood export industry reflects our wider commitment to the national economy,” said Kapila Santhapriya, Emirates’ cargo manager for Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
In the second half of 2016, Emirates SkyCargo transported more than 2,400 tons of fish from Sri Lanka, a twofold year-over-year increase.
After the E.U. allowed imports to resume in June 2016, seafood volumes from Sri Lanka grew by 20 percent in the year that followed. European markets account for more than 60 percent of Sri Lanka’s fish exports. Representing approximately US$110 million, seafood exports are a critical part of the country’s economy.