Sri Lanka to farm Asian sea bass

Chief Regulatory Officer at CSE Renuke Wijayawardhane presenting the listing certificate to Executive Chairperson at Renuka Hotels Shibani Thambiayah

July 01, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has approved a 2.5 million US dollar project to farm Barramundi or Asian Sea Bass off the coast of Trincomalee in North Eastern Sri Lanka, the state investment promotion agency said. Oceanpick, a Sri Lankan firm will partner with a Scottish firm to farm the fish in cages, the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka said.

Founder of Oceanpick, Irfan Thassim had signed an agreement with the BOI. The BOI gives tax breaks for companies.

The BOI said though aquaculture has previously been on brackish water lagoons and fresh water bodies, this was the first project of its kind in the open sea.

The agency said according to the World Food and Agriculture organization, about 50 percent of seafood in the world now comes from farming but in Sri Lanka 90 percent was still from the wild catch.

Sea Bass or Barramunda known as Modha locally is widely spread around Asia and can grow up to 40 kilos. Researchers have identified the Sri Lankan species (Lates Lakdiva) as a separate possibly endemic one of about 20 kilos.