Sri Lanka is in a strong position to become a leader in aquaculture due to a vibrant program launched to develop the industry in the country, said Director, Centre for Coastal Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine University of Calgary Canada, Dr. Craig Stephen.
He said Sri Lanka has identified and is well focused to develop aquaculture in the North and the East which has immense potential for ornamental fish breeding and exports.
Dr. Stephen was speaking at a media briefing to launch a collaborative venture between the Wayamba University of Sri Lanka and the University of Calgary, Canada to exchange knowledge and address food and nutritional security in Sri Lanka.
Dr. Stephen said developing the aquaculture industry is vital to sustain rural livelihood and enhance income levels of rural households. “Aquaculture has great potential to raise income levels and improve nutritional and food security among rural communities”, he said. Sri Lanka currently has over 15,000 ornamental fish breeding farmer families and revenue from exports of ornamental fish and shrimp last year was Rs. 1 billion.
“Sri Lanka has great potential to develop ornamental and shrimp industries with ample resources in the country. The joint program to create awareness, share technological know-how and create a stable market will boost the aquaculture industry in Sri Lanka”, Dr. Stephen said.