Aquaculture for all

President's Global Aquaculture Proposal Approved


SRI LANKA - President Mahinda Rajapaksa's proposal of setting up of a Global Aquaculture Fund was approved at the 30th session of the FAO Committee in Fisheries (COFI)at FAO Headquarters, Rome from July 9-13, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne said.

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Participating as the Chief Guest at the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Asian Regional Ministerial Meeting on Aqua culture for Food Security, Nutrition and Economic Development in Colombo on July 2011, President Mahinda Rajapaksa moved this motion in his keynote address, reports DailyNews.

Addressing a press briefing in Colombo, Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne said the fund would help to uplift freshwater fishing in the country which is currently at an insufficient level.

"This is important, because limitations have arisen in the ocean based fishing. Fisheries resources are decreasing in world oceans. Fish are an important element of the human food supply. Therefore, it is necessary to uplift the aquaculture sector with the intention of averting any possible food crisis in the future," he said.

The Sri Lankan delegation led by Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne was able to achieve many goals on behalf of the fisheries sector in Sri Lanka. The Minister said that the meeting inaugurated by the FAO new Director General Jose Graziano da Silva was attended by 124 members states and 64 UN bodies and IGOs.

"Sri Lanka also elaborated on its commitment to the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and endorsed what the country has done to ensure food security and to manage its resources avoiding illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing," the Minister said.

"Sri Lanka was also elected unanimously to the Bureau of Fisheries. Its function is to communicate with members and make necessary preparations and advise FAO DG on COFI arrangements, " he said.

In order to prepare the draft report in a technically sound, factual manner as per FAO documentation criteria through the sessions, Sri Lanka has been selected to serve as the 12th member of the COFI document drafting committee.

"I also had bilateral discussions with the Fisheries Ministers of Brazil and Bangladesh with regard to the implementation of planned cooperation in tuna fishing in the Bay of Bengal. During the visit, the team met International Fund for Agricultural Development Country Director to evaluate progress of ongoing IFAD projects," the minister further said.

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