Aquaculture in Sunny Side
Published 09th November 2010 - 0 comments - 1342 views -
Maldives is a country surrounded by vast areas of ocean, from which for centuries we have been carrying out economic activities. Fishing has been an activity; an inheritance derived by our forefathers and has developed and taken place through time. Even today, it remains one of the main occupations, contributing to more than fifteen percent of the country's GDP and employing about thirty percent of the country's work force. It is the second largest industry after Tourism, which accumulates an influx of foreign currency in to the country. To bring in more economic development and growth, which has been consistent for the past two decades, Maldives needs to increase private involvement or even maybe foreign investment in the Fisheries industry because it is one of our potential. Priority towards the development and sustaining the industry would definitely give promising results.
The aquatic abundance surrounded by the archipelagos of Maldives shows a promising development in the area of Aquaculture. The sheltered lagoons and consistently warm waters are idyllic for aquaculture. Since many regions of Maldives are sparsely populated, it would ensure that there would be less affect of it on the people’s daily lives.
Though the islands in the Maldives have the ideal conditions needed for aquaculture, there are only experiments proceeding like the Laamu Atoll Mariculture Project, 1994. The market for Aquaculture would be profitable if initialized as the rapidly growing tourism industry is increasing demand for more seafood cuisines and as the prices of fisheries products have been rising due to an expansion in demand in the previous years.
President Nasheed has declared encouragement in private investment in the field of aquaculture. He remarked in a speech he gave at Ihavandhoo of Haa Alif atoll to mark this year’s Fishermen’s Day of 2009 that “that the Maldivian fisheries sector and the economy as whole were badly affected during the past year. Maldives fish catches was faced with a declining for a fifth consecutive year. Rise in fuel prices in 2008 had worsened the situation and now have to work very hard to recover from the crisis.”
Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company (MIFCO) has also recently stated that they have decided to plan to carry out aquaculture projects on Kaduohgiri Island in Kaaf Atoll. “It is difficult to reveal an exact date for the project to begin. But we are working on finding a partner and starting the project as soon as possible. The main difficulty we face is the funds which sum up to US$6.5 million,” said Ali Faiz, Managing Director of the leading state-owned fisheries company.
However, no aquaculture projects has yet started in action in the Maldives, though it is an issue which is much discussed among fisheries specialists.
The regional development plan of the Maldivian government aims to use private sector to provide many local services, whilst looking for international strategic partners to create joint ventures. It is expected that the future investment in aquaculture would flourish huge joint ventures, or even private companies fully Maldivian which would contribute a huge deal to the economy of Maldives.
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