GIS - 14 November, 2013: An amount of Rs 2.1 billion to be invested in tuna fisheries next year, according to the 2014 Budget. This is in addition to Rs 2.6 billion being injected this year in purse seiners and in a fish processing factory. The expected investment could bring in some 40 000 tonnes of fish annually and export revenues of some Rs 2.4 billion.
Marine aquaculture on an industrial scale is taking off. Currently some 500 to 600 metric tonnes are produced on two sites of which 70 percent is for exports. The budget makes provision for 3 more sites over the next two years to double production.
The budget also makes provision for Rs 8 million for the Ministry of Fisheries to purchase 20 floating aquaculture cages, in addition to the 8 installed to date. This is in response to increasing interest expressed by fishermen for small scale aquaculture.
The re-stocking programme for our lagoons has been successful since its inception in 2012. The budget is providing Rs 5 million to triple the pace of replenishment, by increasing the number of fingerlings released to one million in 2014. Notable improvement in fish stocks in our lagoons can be expected within three years.
To encourage off-lagoon fishing, Government will further provide a 50 per cent grant on the purchase of off -lagoon “canottes” up to an amount of Rs 200,000 per “canotte”.
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