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Sri Lanka aims to raise inland fisheries production

ECONOMYNEXT –  Sri Lanka plans to double inland fisheries production by supporting aquaculture to make up for dwindling ocean fish stocks, a senior government official said.

“Aquaculture now accounts for almost half of fisheries production globally,” said P. Nimal Chandraratne, Director General of the National Aquaculture Development Authority of Sri Lanka (NAQDA).

“Fisheries and aquatic resources can contribute significantly to raising the economic growth rate.”

Inland fisheries and aquaculture production grew significantly by 13 percent to 75,750MT in 2014, he said.

It made a contribution of around 14 billion rupees to the rural economy, Chandraratne told an international conference on fisheries and aquaculture in Colombo.

The government plan to raise inland fisheries and aquaculture production to 130,000 tonnes a year, he said.

 “We aim to make optimum use of existing reservoirs and new reservoirs and enhance fish feed production,” he said.

Scientists, he said, should focus more on applied research that help commercial fish production than pure research which is vital for the development of the fisheries sector, he added. (Colombo/September 9 2015)

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