Fish­er­men told to switch to aquacultur­e

Fish Farmer - - World News -

FISH­ER­MEN in Malaysia are be­ing urged by their govern­ment to take up fish farm­ing to pro­tect their fu­ture and save de­plet­ing wild fish stocks at the same time.

The call came from the coun­try’s deputy agri­cul­ture and agro-based in­dus­try min­is­ter, Sim Tze Tzin, at the open­ing of the 2019 World Seafood Congress in Ge­orge­town, cap­i­tal of the Malaysian state of Pe­nang.

He told a large in­ter­na­tional au­di­ence at the three-day event, be­ing held in Asia for the first time, that aquacultur­e in a coun­try with a huge ap­petite for seafood could do much to help pre­vent over-fish­ing in the long term.

He said that Malaysia’s aquacultur­e in­dus­try was highly prof­itable, pro­duc­ing 427,022 tonnes of seafood, worth more than £580 mil­lion a year. The coun­try was now the world’s 15th largest pro­ducer of farmed seafood.

But con­ven­tional fish­ing, at al­most 1.5 mil­lion tonnes a year, was putting huge pres­sure on wild stocks which, were now de­plet­ing at a wor­ry­ing rate.

He said: ‘The sus­tain­able thing to do is to move away from cap­tured fish­eries to­wards aquacultur­e.’

Min­is­ter Sim out­lined how the state gov­ern­ments could help by giv­ing fish­er­men tem­po­rary oc­cu­pa­tion li­cences to kick start their aquacultur­e projects. In Malaysia, the aquacultur­e in­dus­try in­cludes both fresh­wa­ter and sea farmed seafood, with prawns mak­ing up a large part of the pro­duc­tion.

Pe­nang state is one of the ac­tive aquacultur­e ar­eas, worth around £300 mil­lion a year and ac­count­ing for more than half the coun­try’s to­tal out­put of £580 mil­lion. Its main species are ma­rine fin­fish, in­clud­ing sea bass, grouper and snap­per.

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