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Graziano da Silva meets Sri Lanka’s Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources

“Fisheries and protein intake from fish must be a part of the nutrition debates,” Senaratne says

FAO Director-General with Sri Lanka’s Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.

10 June 2014, Rome - FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva today met Sri Lanka’s Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Rajitha Senaratne, at the margins of FAO’s Committee on Fisheries (COFI).

Graziano da Silva welcomed the Minister’s participation in the sessions and Sri Lanka’s efforts, which have led to great achievements in fish production. National production in the country increased from 380 000 tons in 2009 to nearly 600 000 tons by 2013.

Sri Lanka’s strategy has placed emphasis on developing the fishing industry in the north and east, where the industry has been severely affected by conflict for over 30 years.

“We have taken a lot of measures to improve not only the marine fisheries but also the aquaculture sector. There is a marked improvement in production,” Minister Senaratne said after the meeting.

During the meeting, Graziano da Silva invited Sri Lanka to participate in the upcoming Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), which will be held at FAO headquarters in November. The Minister stressed the importance of the event. “I have requested FAO’s Director-General to include fisheries in the debates, as in countries like ours, 72 percent of protein intake is provided by fish”.

“Fish plays a key role in Asia,” he added, “And I hope the conference lays the foundation for the start of some programmes to improve nutrition in poor and developing countries.”

Watch the video interview with Sri Lanka’s Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Rajitha Senaratne.