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Trinidad and Tobago to Explore Aquaculture Opportunities

11 August 2016

TRINIDAD and TOBAGO - Opportunities in aquaculture need to be better explored and the country needs to pay greater attention to building capacity within the sector by sharing knowledge, says commercial fish farmer Kent Vieira.

With eyes set on new economic growth poles, aquaculture experts are of the view that opportunities in their field need to be better explored, reports the T&T Guardian.

Mr Vieira describes the prospects as “global” in nature and highly achievable because of some natural advantages.

“Climate wise we can produce year round and so can sustainably and consistently supply markets,” Mr Vieira told T&T Guardian and he makes specific reference to the farming of tilapia.

“The potential is real big,” he said, however adding that other species such as the catfish-like “swai” also offer opportunities to turn big profits.

“Swai has huge potential as it can be farmed six times more than the rate of tilapia in the same space,” Mr Vieira added.

He said dwindling ocean fish supplies also point to the need for greater exploitation of inland fish farming resources.

Agricultural scientist, Steve Maximay, said such thinking also makes sound environmental sense. “With the increasing concerns about agrichemicals produced from fossil fuel based operations aquaponics provides a way for spent water from aquaculture operations to be used as the fertiliser for crop production,” he said.

“Marine fisheries also currently present challenges related to declining fish stocks, longer distances per fishing expedition and other factors,” Mr Maximay told T&T Guardian.

“Fish protein will continue to play a major role in nutrition security,” he said. “In terms of valued added, the non-food remnants of fish filleting can be used as fishmeal for animal feed or for composting while the improved technologies for fish skin tanning also makes aquaculture a worthwhile venture.”

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