Aquaculture for all

Farmed Lobster Project Approved

TURKS & and CAICOS ISLANDS: The TCI Cabinet has endorsed and approved a three-to-five year research project the Darden Restaurant Group to assess the feasibility of establishing a lobster aquaculture facility in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI).

This initiative comes as mounting scientific evidence confirms a dramatic decline in global lobster catches and the promotion of fish farming as a solution to meet the growing demand for seafood, says CarribeanNet News.

Aquaculture now accounts for roughly one-third of the world's total supply of fish and is expected to increase in the future. The development of aquaculture is also incorporated in the National Policy for the Management and Development of the Fisheries Resources of the Turks and Caicos Islands, where the Government has committed to promoting and strengthening the aquaculture sector.

The Darden Restaurant Group, which owners of Red Lobster, The Olive Garden and Longhorn Steakhouse, estimates this project to cost between US$8 to $10 million over the life of the research.

The project, which aims to be up and running by summer 2008, will be established on Providenciales and South Caicos and will have a similar concept to that of the Conch Farm.

McAlliser Hanchell, Minister of Natural Resource, Fisheries, and the Environment says that this initiative has the potential to replenish lobster stocks, and provide employment for local fisherman.

He says that Red Snapper Aquaculture are also a possiblility, alongside other plans diversify the fishing industry.

"These islands are very, very attractive. We must make great strides in preserving our environment," said Hanchell.

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