The European Union has said though Sri Lanka has expressed interest in addressing the concerns of the fisheries sector, the main problematic issues were still open, London based Undercurrent News agency reported on Thursday.
An EU spokesperson told Undercurrent that the problematic issues include political measures to improve the fisheries situation not yet being approved and plans for a vessel monitoring system subsequently being scrapped with further progress on this undetermined.
"The Commission will maintain cooperation with Sri Lanka until being certain that they fulfill their commitments and achieve tangibles results," the EU said.
The most recent news out of Sri Lanka on the ban was that Jan Zahradil, a vice-chair of the EU Committee on international trade and member of EU parliament, reportedly said the EU ban on Sri Lankan fishery exports could be over in a matter of months.
Two companies told Undercurrent News that the cost of importing fresh tuna into Britain, since trade with main supplier Sri Lanka was cut off by the EU in January, has stabilized after a frantic month or so,.
The price for fresh and chilled yellow fin imports on alternative supply routes, like the Maldives, are down after a spike in February and now rest just a little higher than 2014 prices.
“Supplies are consistent and the quality is good,” said Laky Zervudachi, director of sustainability and epicurean with Direct Seafoods, referring to the Maldives.
“Prices are high, but not excessive as they used to be, perhaps 5% or 10% higher than we were paying before the ban.”
He did warn that the Maldives monsoon season was approaching and given the artisanal nature of the fishery sector there, this could lead to a tightening of supply and increased prices again.