08 December 2020 - Source: Myanmar Times

Myanmar is launching a national aquaculture plan to support the country's fisheries industry, with the aim of linking it up with long term buyers from European markets.

The government will implement the Myanmar Sustainable Aquaculture Programme (MYSAP) under which support will be provided to fisheries businesses. Help will also be provided in connecting with markets from the EU, said U Wai Lin Maung, Director General at the Fisheries Department under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation.

MYSAP is jointly implemented by the Myanmar Department of Fisheries and the German development agency, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), with the EU as its main funding agency.

Fisheries and aquaculture products account for the main source of animal protein and micronutrients in domestic diets. However, in some coastal areas of Myanmar, unsustainable fishing since 1980 has resulted in the decline of wild fish stocks by up to 90 per cent. This significantly threatens the quality of local nutrition and income, particularly in rural areas, where 70pc of the population live.

Through MYSAP, the government aims to address those issues by intensifying aquaculture productivity at selected coastal and freshwater value chains in a sustainable way.

Under the program, the authorities will contribute to input supply, production and product transformation, while also facilitating trade and consumption to benefit communities suffering from malnutrition.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation will also help to alleviate the impact of COVID-19 on the local fisheries industry, which has suffered from weak demand, under MYSAP.

In addition, the government is also drafting a National Aquaculture Development Plan to ensure that proper support is channelled to the industry through government policies, aid and investments.

Myanmar fisheries production has increased gradually since 2016 and now generates US$853 million from marine product exports. - Translated