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Brazil to Become Fish Exporter

by the Fish Site Editor
17 February 2009, at 12:00am

BRAZIL - Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Monday his country will soon be self-sufficient in the production of seafood, and will later become a fish exporter.

In his weekly radio program Breakfast with the President, President Lula mentioned his visit to Brazil's first sea ranch last week, which lies 11 km off the coast of Recife in northeastern Brazil.

President Lula said the ranch is expected to reach a production of 10,000 tons of fish per year, almost 10 times more than the current annual fish production of the whole country.

"In some years, we will become great fish producers," he said. Brazilians now eat an average of 7 kg of fish per capita per year, while in other countries the number could be up to 12 kg.

President Lula said Brazilians must fish more and encourage the people to eat more fish.

He said more than 1,000 families in the region are benefiting from the ranch's seafood production, and by promoting the fishing industry, the government can manage to give the people in the farthest corners of Brazil "a jump in the quality of their lives."

President Lula also stressed the need to build other fish farms and develop production techniques.

At the beginning of the month, Altemir Gregolin, in charge of agriculture and fisheries, told the media that Lula had set aside 1.75 million reais (750 million US dollars) through 2011 to bolster the country's fishing sector and boost production and export.

Brazil now produces about 1.05 million tons of fish per year, which generates 3 billion dollars in annual income, according to official data. Gregolin said fish output could "easily" jump to 20 million tons and generate 160 billion dollars in income.

the Fish Site Editor