Kuwait eyes fish self-suf­fi­ciency to nar­row sup­ply, de­mand gap

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL -

The Pub­lic Au­thor­ity for Agri­cul­tural Af­fairs and Fish Re­sources (PAAAFR) seeks to achieve self-suf­fi­ciency of lo­cally-con­sumed fish as part of its am­bi­tious strat­egy aimed at nar­row­ing the gap be­tween sup­ply and de­mand. The strat­egy tends to ex­pand and en­hance sev­eral op­er­a­tions and projects such as fish farm­ing, nat­u­ral fish re­serve in ter­ri­to­rial wa­ters, all listed in the 2018-19 devel­op­ment plan.

For the past 10 years, PAAAFR has ac­com­plished a very no­table devel­op­ment in all its sec­tors, par­tic­u­larly in ex­pand­ing arable lands, bol­ster­ing live­stock pro­duc­tion, and launch­ing projects to en­rich nat­u­ral fish re­serve in ter­ri­to­rial wa­ters, Ghanim Al-Sanad, PAAAFR’s Deputy Di­rec­tor Gen­eral for Or­na­men­tal Hor­ti­cul­ture Af­fairs said.

Re­cent statis­tics showed that Kuwait’s fish and prawn pro­duc­tion dur­ing the 2015-16 pe­riod was es­ti­mated at be­tween 4,000 to 6,000 tons an­nu­ally, boost­ing fish farm­ing pro­duc­tion to be­tween 300 and 600 tons, Sanad noted.

Mean­while, Youssef Al-Na­jem, PAAAFR’s Deputy Di­rec­tor Gen­eral for Fish Re­sources Af­fairs, shed light on cur­rent gap be­tween sup­ply and de­mand of fish and lo­cal pro­duc­tion, not­ing that the cur­rent to­tal de­mand of fish and prawn sur­passes lo­cal pro­duc­tion, and that the avail­able fish re­sources shape up be­tween 33-49 per­cent of to­tal lo­cal con­sump­tion. One in­di­vid­ual’s av­er­age share of to­tal con­sump­tion es­ti­mates at around five ki­los a year, which is very low com­pared to the in­ter­na­tional av­er­age share, es­ti­mated at around 18.6 kg a year, said Na­jem. Fish farm­ing could fill 50 per­cent of fresh fish deficit by the year 2025 if the Au­thor­ity com­pletes im­ple­men­ta­tion of all its planned projects, he said, not­ing that PAAAFR fo­cuses on ac­ti­vat­ing and re­boost­ing fish farm­ing in Kuwait. The Au­thor­ity also plans to build the Na­tional Hatch­ery (2008) in Wafra area to sup­port fish farms au­tho­rized in breed­ing Tilapia fish with a pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity of 80,000-90,000 an­nu­ally.

It also seeks to pro­vide fish feed to farms that breed black seabream and yel­low-fin bream fish, or­ga­nize an­nual train­ing cour­ses for cit­i­zens, and of­fer sci­en­tific and tech­ni­cal con­sul­ta­tions to fish farm­ers, Na­jem said.

Salem Al-Hai, Head of Fish Farm­ing De­part­ment at PAAAFR, af­firmed that fish farm­ing would be the ideal op­tion for beat­ing the cur­rent fish deficit in Kuwait, point­ing out its ca­pa­bil­ity in nar­row­ing the gap be­tween sup­ply and de­mand, and in pro­duc­ing 4,000 tons of pop­u­lar fish for the next 10 years. The gov­ern­ment is cur­rently head­ing to­wards en­cour­ag­ing fish farm­ing in the county, giv­ing PAAAFR a big­ger mo­ti­va­tion to ac­com­plish that goal, Hai men­tioned. He added that the Au­thor­ity has de­vel­oped a care­fully stud­ied strat­egy that in­clude a num­ber of fu­ture projects aimed at pro­vid­ing con­sumers in Kuwait with suf­fi­cient quan­ti­ties of fish and lim­it­ing price in­creases in mar­kets. The eco­nomic fish farm­ing pro­ject, listed in the gov­ern­ment’s 2018-19 devel­op­ment plan, is geared to­wards en­hanc­ing meth­ods and ways of fish pro­duc­tion, in­creas­ing pro­duc­tion quan­ti­ties, and im­prov­ing the qual­ity of farmed fish, he said. A num­ber of cur­rent fish farms are to be se­lected, in ac­cor­dance with the qual­ity lev­els of their con­struc­tion, de­sign, and fish farm­ing tech­niques, for the pro­ject im­ple­men­ta­tion, he added.

This pro­ject aims at at­tain­ing an an­nual pro­duc­tion of 10 to 15 tons of fish for each farm, train­ing around 10 of PAAAFR’s staff on mod­ern tech­niques of fish farm­ing, en­hanc­ing tech­niques and sys­tems of the in­te­grated fish farm­ing in arable lands, guid­ing fish farm­ers to meth­ods and ways of in­ten­si­fied fish farm­ing, and pro­mot­ing fish farm­ing tech­niques to in­crease pro­duc­tion in farms, said Hai. En­rich­ing nat­u­ral fish re­serve in ter­ri­to­rial wa­ters pro­ject aims at pro­duc­ing and re­leas­ing 1.3 mil­lion ju­ve­nile fish of three types; spot­ted grouper, black seabream, and yel­lowfin bream into Kuwaiti wa­ters af­ter con­duct­ing an ac­cu­rate sur­vey on the sites where the fish to be re­leased, said Na­jem.

About 25 per­cent of th­ese sea­sonal ju­ve­niles will be col­ored with flu­o­res­cent elas­tomer in or­der to follow them and eval­u­ate the out­come of their re­lease, and thus re­ha­bil­i­tate fish re­serve af­ter two years from the re­lease, he added. The three-year pro­ject’s bud­get is about KD 1.6 mil­lion, equal­ing $4.8 mil­lion, Na­jem said, ad­ding that the pro­ject in­cludes 13 tasks di­vided into two main ac­tiv­i­ties; pro­duc­ing and re­leas­ing ju­ve­nile fish. He also pointed out the pro­ject’s sig­nif­i­cance as a main core for re­ha­bil­i­tat­ing fish re­serves in Kuwait af­ter suf­fer­ing se­vere drainage due to il­le­gal fish­ing and en­vi­ron­men­tal changes. Na­jem also noted that such a pro­gram would con­trib­ute highly in nar­row­ing the gap be­tween sup­ply and de­mand of fish, de­creas­ing prices, and pro­vid­ing con­sumers with sea prod­ucts in suf­fi­cient quan­ti­ties and ap­pro­pri­ate prices.

Fur­ther­more, PAAAFR also plans to launch another im­por­tant pro­ject aimed at farm­ing sea fish in float­ing cages in Khairan area in south­ern Kuwait, Na­jem added. The float­ing cages are to be set on a 10,000 square me­ter­sized area in the wa­ters, in ad­di­tion to another 20,200 square me­ter-sized area for build­ing a fish hatch­ery, and 5,000 square me­ter area to build a su­per­vi­sion and fol­low­ing unit for the float­ing cages, he ex­plained.

The PAAAFR of­fi­cial also fore­casted the pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity for the pro­ject to reach over 10,000 tons of fish an­nu­ally by 2040, com­pared to the cur­rent 2,000 tons. The pro­ject would breed fish inside float­ing cages, and that the pro­duc­tion’s main tar­gets of fish are spot­ted grouper, black seabream, yel­lowfin bream fish, and Euro­pean black seabream, he noted. — KUNA

KUWAIT: A Kuwaiti man ob­serves fish bas­kets dis­played at the main fish mar­ket in Sharq. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.