E-log books for all Lanka multi-day fishing vessels

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

All multi-day fishing vessels would be provided with E-Log books/Tab Computers to enter fish harvest information, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said yesterday.

The ministry had taken steps to provide E-Log Books as a measure to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, he said.

According to Amaraweera, 2,328 multi-day fishing vessels would be provided with E Log Books. The total cost of the project is estimated to be Rs. 78 million.

According to international laws, it was mandatory to maintrain records of fish catch information by the multi-day fishing vessels engaged in fishing activities in international waters and to provide it to the EU to avoid the mismanagement of fisheries resources, Amaraweera said.

Sri Lanka would demonstrate the best practices in implementing electronic traceability to address IUU fishing and sustainable fisheries management, Minister Amaraweera said.

The EU, in January 2015, imposed a ban on Sri Lanka’s fish exports to its market as a result of engaging in IUU fishing activities. It lifted the ban on fisheries exports from Sri Lanka in June 2016.

In the run-up to the EU’s decision, the Sri Lanka government took a number of steps to have the ban lifted.

Minister Amaraweera added that the software used in E-Log Books was being developed by the University of Colombo and the E-Log Books would be handed over to the owners of multi-day fishing vessels free of charge.

 The vessel owners would be trained to use the E-Log Book, the minister said.

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