Sri Lanka's Ornamental Fish industry received a much-needed boost from the EDB Ornamental Advisory Committee meeting, which was held recently at the EDB. Chaired by Mr. Sathyendra Wijayapura, Chairman / Ornamental Fish Advisory Committee and attended by Dr. Kingsley Bernard, Chairman / Sri Lanka Export Development Board, prominent figures from the industry, including leaders from the Tropical Ornamental Fish Association, the gathering aimed to directly address the obstacles faced by the sector.
At the event, EDB Chief conveyed an optimistic tone and expressed a strong commitment to resolve the industry's issues with the assistance of the relevant Government agencies, and discussions during the meeting delved into the key challenges faced by the Island’s Ornamental Fish sector. The industry representatives pointed out that the competitive freight rates offered by other countries affect the potential of Sri Lanka’s ornamental fish exports in the European and USA markets while the urgent need for reforms in importation conditions, import bans, regulations on tissue-cultured plants, and Department of Forest’s restrictions on exporting exotic species was also stressed during the consultation. Further, concerns were raised about delays in obtaining fresh animal quarantine reports, within a 48-hour timeframe, thereby restricting the ability to provide timely customer updates, particularly during extended weekends.
The meeting underscored the industry's pressing need for comprehensive reforms across various aspects of the Ornamental Fish sector. The EDB conducts webinars and awareness sessions regularly with the support of foreign missions to foster connections with clients in overseas markets as well as drive growth in the industry.
Emphasizing the importance of the EDB Advisory Committees, the meeting emphasized their pivotal role in informing advisors, policymakers, national institutions, and other stakeholders about necessary programs and reforms aimed at boosting specific industries. The facilitation of the growth of Sri Lanka's export sector remains as the overarching objective of the EDB Advisory Committees.
The officials of the EDB – Export Agriculture division were present at the meeting, symbolizing the collaborative efforts and the commitment of various sectors to drive positive change in the Ornamental Fish industry.