The Sunday Leader

Immense Potential For Commercial Fish Farming

By Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema

A Sri Lanka and Israeli collaboration is to commence a modern fish farm in Chilaw using technology and expertise developed in Israel.
Aquaculture Projects Limited with local partner, Senura Aquaculture Projects Lanka (Pvt) Limited is to commence the commercial fish farm using technology and expertise developed in Israel over the past five to six decades.

The first farm for the commercial fish growing is to commence in Chilaw in July and Director, Aquaculture Projects Limited, Sheldon M. Schreter says that plans are already underway to establish more fish farms and to set up other industries related to commercial fish farms.

He observed that Sri Lanka has tremendous potential to expand the commercial fish industry in the country.

He explained the significance is that many know to grow fish, but are unaware of the scientific, disciplined and systematic way.

“Academic knowledge and ability to apply this knowledge in practice requires a daily discipline,” Schreter said, adding that the whole point is a daily discipline with no shortcuts.

Application of the proper discipline would help give greater productivity and tremendous protection against some classic problems in the filed.

According to Schreter, considering the diseases that have affected especially the shrimp and prawn industries, it is evident that diseases can always happen, but they can be controlled.

“If one could catch a disease at the beginning and isolate it, then there would not be a loss of everything,” Schreter said.

He emphasised that the application of the modern and scientific methods is more a realm of art than a science.

When inquired about the specialty in the Israeli technology, Schreter said that it was developed through sheer necessity due to the severe limitations in Israel.

“With limited resources, one has to be super efficient and think out of the box,” he said.

As for other countries that have applied this technology, Schreter said it has been applied in EU, North Americas, Australia, Vietnam, Thailand and China.

He added that the support received by the government, especially the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Ministry, NARA and NAQDA has helped immensely in initiating the fish farm in Chilaw.

Schreter’s local partner, Senaka de Silva said that the commercial fish farm would also help produce fish for local consumption as well.
He explained that now the fish caught by local fishermen are exported while fish to feed people in the country is exported.

De Silva also said that Senura Aquaculture Projects Lanka (Pvt) Limited would expand in the commercial fish growing industry and the successful outcome of the first fish farm could be witnessed in six to nine months.

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