Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 5 August 2012





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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 industry.

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 fishermen.

I plan to teach the fish exporters about fish cutting methods for export.

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 technology.

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.



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