Fresh tuna fetches around 8,000 rupees per kilogram in Japan and the Ceylon Fisheries Corporation has earned 14.4 billion rupees by exporting 18,646 tons of tuna to that country in 2006, Secretary to the Ministry Of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, G. Piyasena said.
He said the Ministry has put forward a ten-year plan and set a target to air freight 28,000 Metric tons of tuna annually by 2008.
This had been made possible due to negotiations Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Felix Perera had with the Japanese authorities.
Fresh tuna has a high demand as an exotic Japanese food specialty `Sashimee`. Sri Lanka was ranked the 5th largest exporter of tuna to Japan in the World, he said.
He said that tuna for export was purchased from foreign vessels that had been granted permits to sell their catch in Sri Lanka and not a single foreign vessel had been granted permission to fish within the 200-Nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone. The fish was processed at 14 local processing plants before being air freighted daily.