July 27, 2011
Sri Lanka expands inland fish production
Sri Lanka is expecting inland fish production to rise 15% to 60,000 tonnes in 2011, and is targeting 90,000 tonnes by 2013, backed by a programme to push up production, officials said.
Sri Lanka produced 52,000 tonnes of inland fish in 2010, valued at LKR6-7 billion (US$54.8-63.9 million), according to Jayantha Chandrasoma, chairman of the National Aquaculture Development Authority of Sri Lanka.
He said Sri Lanka had 12,000 inland water bodies with enormous potential for cultivating fresh water fish, and that the government was seeding reservoirs with fingerlings to increase fish stocks.
Dr Rohana Subasinghe, senior fishery resource officer at the UN FAO, said Asia accounted for about 90% of the aquaculture in the world, and 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.
Dr Subasinghe said Asian aquaculture was estimated at about 45 to 50 million tonnes last year, and is expected to grow by another 25 million tonnes by 2030.