Mega scale fish preserving centre soon
Moves are under way to invest $ 100m in Sri Lanka in the fisheries
industry. A mega scale fish preservation centre will be set up. A large
number of direct and indirect employment will be generated through this
centre, Japanese multinational trade giant, Chairman of Kiyomura
Corporation "Tuna King" Kiyoshi Kimura said during an exclusive
interview with the Sunday Observer.
Fisheries Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne welcomes Tuna King
Kiyoshi Kimura, Consul General of Sri Lanka in Japan Sunil
Gamage, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry
Media Secretary D.S. Narendra Rajapaksa and other Ministry
officials look on.
This money will be used to improve various sectors in the fisheries
industry. Proper financial management was the secret to success,
according to Kimura.
He said that the quality of fish should be maintained to increase its
value, and then only a higher price can be obtained for the product.
Kimura runs mega scale companies in various parts of the world. He is
known as "Tuna King" in Japan because he is engaged in the fishing
industry on a mega scale.
He owns 54 giant multi-day fishing vessels and 28 mega scale fish
preservation centres and 3,000 sea food restaurants in Japan. Kimura who
arrived in Sri Lanka on an invitation extended by Fisheries and Aquatic
Resources Development Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne toured the main
fisheries destinations and inspected the functioning of fishing centres.
Q: What was the purpose of your visit?
A: Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister
Rajitha Senaratne and Consul General of Sri Lanka in Japan Sunil Gamage
met me in Japan during the Minister's recent visit to Japan. He sought
my assistance to improve the fisheries industry in Sri Lanka. Then I
promised him, I would visit Sri Lanka to study the feasibility of
investing in the fisheries industry of Sri Lanka. Following a thorough
study about various sectors in the industry I would extend my assistance
including technology and finance to improve the sector. I arrived in Sri
Lanka with my delegation. Consul General Sunil Gamage and Media
Secretary of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry D.S.
Narendra Rajapaksa guided us.
Q: What do you think about Sri Lanka today?
A: After the elimination of the LTTE, the people of this
country are living peacefully. There are enough opportunities for
foreign investors in this country. International investors have started
to look at Sri Lanka.
The Sri Lankans are rich in hospitality. I practically experienced it
during my stay here. There are some shortcomings in the development
process.Our aim should be to correct those shortcomings. I will extend
my cooperation to correct the shortcomings and to improve the fisheries
Q: How can you contribute to improve the fisheries industry of
Sri Lanka? Do you intend to provide your fishing vessels?
A: My ships have been deployed in international waters. I
visited a boat manufacturing yard here and the boats manufactured are
suitable to the local climate. I hope to provide modern technological
assistance to manufacture fully-equipped fishing vessels for deep sea
fishermen. Sri Lanka was dependant importing fishing equipment and
materials. This was also one of the reasons for fish prices to go up.I
plan to provide the famous Japanese fish production technology of
Sashimi to manufacture fishing equipment in Sri Lanka.
I also plan to set up a Sashimi fish production plant to improve the
living standards of people who depend on this industry.
Q: What are the other sectors you plan to invest in? How much
of money are you going to invest?
A: I will invest on broiler chicken and to produce fruits and
vegetables. I hope to distribute these products at lower prices to Sri
Lankans and to purchase the excess production for his company in Japan
and a large amount of foreign exchange can be earned.
Q: In which way do you plan to provide fishing technology to
Sri Lankan fishermen?
A: There are a large number of fishermen in Sri Lanka and a
large number of fishing vessels owned by them but unfortunately the fish
harvest has yet to be increased.
There are faults in the methods of fishing, storing and transporting,
the harvested fish will lose its quality, freshness and hygiene. The
percentage of going waste and perishing are high. Lack of technological
know-how is the main cause for all of these problems.
Fishermen should possess technological knowledge to overcome these
issues. Fishermen should be taught the techniques of how to fish in the
deep sea, how to store them without damaging the quality and hygiene,
how to transport and use refrigeration. Because of these shortcomings,
the fish harvest in Sri Lanka has declined and prices have gone up.
Meanwhile, due to lower quality the harvest receives lower prices in the
open market. I hope to provide the latest fishing technology to your
I plan to teach the fish exporters about fish cutting methods for
Q: What was the reason for fish prices to go up?
A: When compared to Japan and other countries, fish prices are
not as high in Sri Lanka. If fish prices are to be reduced the fish
harvest should increase several fold. The Fisheries Ministry of Sri
Lanka has worked out plans to increase the fish harvest and it has
achieved this to a great extent.
The higher price of fishing equipment is also a reason for the
increase the fish prices. Over 80 percent of fishing equipment is
imported and Sri Lanka spends a large amount of money on the imports of
fishing equipment every year.
If fish prices are to be reduced, fishing equipment should be
manufactured in Sri Lanka. I am ready to extend my assistance. if the
fishing equipment are manufactured in Sri Lanka.
My aim is to increase fish production in Lanka by providing Japanese
I promise to import excess fish harvest preserved with the help of
modern technology to Japan.
Q: How do you plan to provide fishing technology to Sri Lanka?
A: I plan to set up a fisheries training centre in Sri Lanka.
Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry has granted
permission to set up this centre. The fishermen will be provided with
theoretical and practical training at this centre, while teaching them
the methods of cutting fish for export and local market, the
preservation and methods of transport.
I have a policy that if one fold fish was caught, fish should be bred
by several folds. Small fish should be protected. A favourable
environment should be created to encourage fish breeding. Coral piers
should be protected, while laying aquatic boxes in the sea. Ocean
pollution should be prevented.
Q: You fish in Somalian waters; can you tell us about your
experience in the Somalian waters?
A: I held discussions with Somalian pirates. They said
injustice has occurred to Somalian fishermen. The fishermen from various
countries fish in Somalian waters. They give nothing to our country.
This was the main reason to express displeasure. I plan to improve the
living and economic standards of Somalian fishermen. I have worked out
plans to help Somalian fishermen.
Q: When will you commence investment activities in Sri Lanka?
A: I hope to launch investment activities before the end of
this year. I visited various fisheries destinations along the Sri Lankan
belt. I held several rounds of talks with Fisheries and Aquatic
Resources Development Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne and Ministry
officers. I think the Government and Fisheries Minister will provide the
fullest cooperation to us.