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Fiji Looks to Aquaculture to Meet Demand for Fish

17 July 2013

FIJI - Demand for fresh fish in the local market is growing stronger. However, coastal fisheries are having trouble meeting this demand.

According to The Fiji Times Online, Robert Jimmy, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) aquaculture adviser, said that aquaculture was an important way to ensure that the supply of fish would be enough for the growing human population.

He said this practice would include utilising simple techniques for farming tilapia (maleya) and milkfish (yawa).

Mr Jimmy said: "Moreover, coastal fisheries are expected to get worse in the future because of the effects of climate change on coral reefs, so aquaculture on land in ponds is one option for climate change adaptation."

He said SPC's assistance for aquaculture was determined by consultations with government and aquaculture stakeholders.

"The main targets at the moment are tilapia and freshwater prawn on Viti Levu, seaweed on Kadavu, and pearl on Vanua Levu," he said.

He disclosed that they would offer business skills training for pearl farmers in Savusavu later this year.

"One new technology initiative is aquaponics, which is the raising of fish with vegetables in an enclosed recirculating system of tanks.

"Last year, SPC built a demonstration aquaponics system at our Nabua campus, and it is being operated by USP and FNU student volunteers as a training exercise."

He said aquaculture in Fiji had received adverse comments in the past about being slow to develop, but the prospects for successful aquaculture continued to improve because of the worsening state of capture fisheries.

"Making better aquaculture development choices, backed up by sound economic-viability assessments, is also improving the outlook for Fiji aquaculture."

He said aquaculture was the only practice that could create fish where there were none.

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