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Breeding Salmon And Sturgeon In Kachin

by the Fish Site Editor
14 January 2010, at 12:00am

MYANMAR - Caviar and smoked salmon could soon be on the menu if a Department of Fisheries' (DOF) plan comes together over the next few years.

According to Myanmar Times, the plan is to establish cold climate fish farms in the country’s northernmost Kachin State, a plan which was identified after an early December visit by a delegation of DOF officials and fisheries industry members to similar farms in Viet Nam.

The species likely to be farmed are sturgeon, famous for the caviar (eggs) it produces, and salmon.

The towns already identified as possible locations for farms are Putao, Myitkyina and Kanpaiktee, with investors from Vietnam keen to put money into the idea, said U Khin Ko Lay, director general of the DOF.

“We have been offered investment and the technology required to produce these fish. We think this represents a good investment for our farmers in the future,” he said.

Myanmar already farms the mrigal, tilapia and common carp in Shan, Kachin and Chin states but the sturgeon and salmon would be new additions, U Khin Ko Lay said.

If the DOF’s plan goes ahead the eggs required for the programme will be imported from Vietnam, which were themselves sent from Ukraine some four years earlier.

U Khin Ko Lay said Vietnam has hired three experts from Russia and Ukraine to assist its development of salmon and sturgeon farms, and has already invested in similar farms in Laos.

Caviar fetches up to US$2000 a kilogram in international markets and salmon is also viewed as a lucrative species, he said.

“Vietnam is able to farm these species in temperatures varying between 16 and 21 degrees Celsius by cooling the water down.

“We have areas that are a lot colder than those in Vietnam and don’t need to use machines,” said U Khin Ko Lay.

U Hla Win, a retired deputy director of the DOF, said sturgeon and salmon breed in temperatures between 5 and 15C.

He said any agreement between Vietnamese investors and the DOF would involve the Vietnamese side putting in all of the required capital, with profits split thereafter.

He said a number of experts will be arriving in February to begin working on the farms.

the Fish Site Editor

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