May 15, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is embarking on an aquaculture drive with technical support from Vietnam starting with culturing sea cucumber, seaweed and lobster fattening and also help devise a master plan, officials said. A team from Vietnam’s Research Institute for Aquaculture Number 3 began working with Sri Lanka’s National Aquaculture Development Authority (NAQDA) this week.
Vietnam will also help Sri Lanka prepare a masterplan for aquaculture with NAQDA.
Sri Lanka’s deputy minister of fisheries Sarath Kumara Gunaratne said though the island had massive water resources including a long coastline, it was underutilized.
NAQDA chief Jayantha Chandrasoma said UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization has forecasted sea catches to stop growing at 90 million tonnes a year and all incremental demands would have to be met by culturing.
By 2040 aquaculture production is estimated to reach 50 million tonnes.
Chandrasoma said Sri Lanka had vast fresh and brackish water resources, which can be utilized with the necessary technology transfer from Vietnam which has become a global aquaculture export leader.
Vietnam top exporter especially since the 1990s after the country started to open up and shake off