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Govt welcomes partnership on aquaculture
Published on: Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Kota Kinabalu: The government welcomes the partnership between scientists, fish farming community and entrepreneurs to further develop the aquaculture sector.Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Yahya Hussin was glad that the Borneo Marine Research Institute which is the centre of excellence of the UMS and recognised as a potential Higher Institution Centre of Excellence has shown interest to work with the fish farming community.

"It reflects a sincere effort towards bringing the stakeholders of the aquaculture to discuss ways and means of inculcating the societal benefits in the coastal community of Sabah.

"This sort of structured platform among the aquaculture scientists and the fish farming community is required to establish cooperation among the generators and the users of knowledge," he said at the opening of the World Oceans Day and Coral Triangle Day 2015 as well as official launching of UMS Aquaculture Partner at ODEC Beach, UMS near here Monday.

His speech was delivered by Assistant Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Datuk Sairin Karno.

Yahya who is Agriculture and Food Industry Minister said aquaculture was an area where immense possibilities of convergence of scientists and farmers existed for achieving the common objectives that include sustainability of farming systems and production efficiency.

"While farmers rely on experience, scientists generate new knowledge through access to technology and resources available to them. I believe this kind of arrangement will help connect aquaculture scientists with the type of research that fish farmers can use to boost their productivity and competitiveness while reducing the risk factors," he said.

"As the UMS and the national centre of excellence, the Borneo Marine Research Institute must have a considerable investment in research and innovation to further extend the frontiers of the aquaculture knowledge with problem-solving outcomes.

"If that knowledge can be applied to produce a marketable products of the aquaculture, it will make a difference to the socio-economic condition of the indigenous communities.

"In this context, I support the partnership between the scientists, the fish farming community and the entrepreneurs for the good of all. Together with the Borneo Marine Research Institute assistance, I believed the aquaculture programme have the elements that will qualify it for the 'Enterprise Aquaculture' and the 'Aquaculture Incubator' status that can give a significant gains to the society," he said.

In fact, Yahya said having attained maturity by investment in the R & D and confidence in guiding the course of the development of the food production sector, the academic institutions should think of inculcating objectives of the social entrepreneurship and the social inclusion with focus on the societal benefits and the environmental compatibility.

"These are the ingredients that make the aquaculture a tool of community empowerment, employment generation and welfare of the society," he said.

He added that in a world of rapidly evolving technological innovations and green perspectives, the industry that deserves its fair share of attention is the "sustainable aquaculture system", where ecologically sustainable technologies being emerged by blending traditional practices and modern developments.

As the population of fish consumers continues to rise up, the need for increased seafood production stands a foremost concern for sustainable development of aquaculture as well as fisheries, he said.

"With a wealth of water resources, scientific interest and synergistic partnership of academia and fish farming community, Malaysia has the elements to emerge as a significant player in this area," he said.

Yahya said that turning excellent ideas into marketable products, processes and services was something that the country needs immensely to become a high-income nation.

"In this context, I must say that the government is favourably inclined to support the aquaculture. It has become easier for the policy makers to get support for projects that have a proven record of social benefits. I, therefore, support the aquaculture partnership program of the UMS because I believe it is a step in this direction," he said.

He said aquaculture helped in reducing the need to catch wild fish and this role should be highlighted since global demand for fish is ever increasing, putting many species in danger from overfishing which has disturbed the health and resilience of the ocean ecosystems.

"Fish farming is taking some of the pressure off these stocks, thereby mitigating human impact on the oceans," he said.

Celebrating the 2015 World Oceans Day and Coral Triangle Day in conjunction with the aquaculture partnership programme is an excellent idea to highlight the inseparable relationship that existed between the marine ecosystem and the aquaculture.

"I commend the effort of the Borneo Marine Research Institute in introducing the Citizen Science activities and workshops to empower our society in climate change adaptation and marine conservation.

"In gearing up for such adaptation, we are reminded to ensure the good health of our oceans," he said, adding that the theme of the 'Rakan Akuakultur' (aquaculture partner) which is basically oriented towards welfare of the society through environment-friendly methods, resonates well with the theme of the World Oceans Day which is 'Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet' or the essence of the Coral Triangle Initiative which is the marine conservation and sustainable management for human welfare.



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