Fish stocks to check drop in demand- Devananda | Sunday Observer

Fish stocks to check drop in demand- Devananda

1 November, 2020

Minister of Fisheries, Douglas Devananda has directed Ministry officials to use all cold storage facilities of the Ceylon Fisheries Harbour Corporation and the private sector to store fish stocks to check the present decline in retail demand for fish and control the prices in view of the forthcoming festive season.

The Minister told Fisheries Corporation and Fisheries Harbour Corporation officials at the Ministry to make available all un-used buildings of the Ministry as a quarantine centre for the first contacts of Covid-19 positive workers in fisheries harbours.

The daily catch from around twenty fisheries harbours ranged between 300,000-400,000 Kgs and the Peliyagoda main fish market, which was closed following the detection of infected persons, accounted for the daily sale of around 40,000kgs of fish, Ministry officials said.

In accordance with the Government’s decision to stop canned fish and dried fish imports, it would continue to provide tax relief to encourage local canned fish, Maldive fish and dried fish producers, even in next year’s budget, Minister Devananda said.

Despite the drop in the retail market for fish due to the pandemic, the wholesale market has expanded its capacity to fill the gap and stocks from fisheries harbours, are bought by exporters, canned fish,Maldive fish and dried fish producers, State Minister Kanchana Wijesekera told the Sunday Observer on Friday (30).

“The producers could use the stocks for production and the rest could be stored,” he said.

He said the Fisheries Corporation also bought some of the catch to be distributed among certain government institutions that have entered into contracts with the Fisheries Corporation to supply fish to hospitals, prisons and the Colombo harbour.

“There are delays in transport due to the quarantine curfew, but the wholesale fish market is in operation,” he added.

The fishing industry has faced a drop in demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic, locally and internationally.