|Seafood fare: Dr Zulkifli Idris (centre) checking out a food stall during the opening of a mini saltwater fish carnival in Lipis recently.|
Agricultural and Agro-based Industries Ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Zulkifli Idris said plans were in the pipeline to create an aquaculture industry zone.
He said the Government hoped the move would help increase production and reduce the import of fish by 2010.
“The local demand for aquaculture products increased by 21.5% or 662,000 metric tonnes last year as compared to 400,000 metric tonnes in 2005.
“The demand for fish had risen from 104,700 metric tonnes in 2000 to 129,200 metric tonnes in 2005.
“We projected the figure will hit 156,300 metric tonnes by 2010,” he said while launching a seminar on aquaculture industry and a saltwater fish carnival organised by Fama in Lipis Square recently.
Dr Zulkifli said besides saving on foreign exchange, the aquaculture industry could produce young and dynamic entrepreneurs including fresh graduates.
He said the proposed industry zone could help the Government to reduce its deficit in fish import from RM8.6bil last year to RM1.2bil during the period of the 9th Malaysia Plan.