Sri Lanka plans inland fisheries expansion

July 25, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is expecting inland fish production to rise 15 percent to 60,000 tonnes in 2011, and is targeting 90,000 tonnes by 2013 backed by a program to push up production, officials said. Rohana Subasinghe, senior fishery resource officer at the Food and Agriculture Organization said Asia accounted for about 90 percent of the aquaculture in the world.

Many Asian nations have sophisticated aquaculture programs aimed at export. Sri Lanka’s inland fisheries are mostly for domestic consumption but Sri Lanka used to export cultured prawns until disease devastated the industry.

Subasinghe said Asian aquaculture was estimated at about 45 to 50 million tonnes last year, and it is expected to grow by another 25 million tonnes by 2030.

From July 26 Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo is playing host to an Asian aquaculture ministerial meeting backed by the FAO, with delegations from 17 countries, including 14 fisheries ministers taking part. In 2010 Sri Lanka had produced 52,000 tonnes of inland fish which, at around 130 rupees a kilo is value at between 6 to 7 billion rupees Jayantha Chandrasoma, chairman of the National Aquaculture Development Authority of Sri Lanka said.

He said Sri