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COLOMBO: October 03, 2017. Emirates Sky Cargo says Sri Lanka fish exports have been booming in the past 12 months following the lifting of European Commission (EC) sanctions.

EK Sri LankaSince June 2016 fish volumes have risen 20 percent year-on-year with the EU accounting for more than 60 percent of the country's seafood exports, valued at US$110 million. In the second half of last year the airline carried more than 2,400 tons of fresh fish from the country, double the volume in the same period a year earlier.

With its four daily flights to Colombo, the airline is now handling 100 tons a week of export tuna, shrimp, prawns, crabs, lobster, fish maws, sea cucumbers, cuttlefish, squid and sprats to the UK, France, Italy, Japan, Netherlands and the U.S.

The boom follows the lifting of a 15-month ban by the European Commission on Sri Lanka fish exports due to what it said were "governance issues".

"Sri Lanka has now successfully reformed its fisheries governance system. The country was issued with a yellow card in 2012 and been listed by the Council in February 2015. By today it has amended its legal framework, strengthened sanctions and improved its fleet control," the EC declared with the removal of sanctions last year.

"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 Sri Lanka & Maldives - who noted his airline's fresh produce service also includes prioritized ground handling and use of the SkyFresh Ventilated Cool Dolly for transfers.

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