Sri Lanka’s State Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development and Rural Economy Dilip Wedaarachchi says a comprehensive program will be launched island wide at the village level to boost the ornamental fish industry producing ornamental fish that are high in demand globally.
The State Minister said in parallel exporters and ornamental fish export zones will be establish at district level.
Minister Wedaarachchi made this observation at the inaugural workshop held at the National Aquaculture Development Authority on the preparation of a strategic plan for promoting ornamental fish industry.
A large number of people including ornamental fish growers, ornamental fish exporters, fish food producers, aquaculture, and venders participated in the workshop.
Expressing his views, the State Minister said this is a good opportunity for the future of the ornamental fish industry in Sri Lanka.
“This task force is a platform to discuss all your problems. There are ornamental fish producers as well as exporters within the task force. I believe the issues should be resolved for progress since you have the responsibility to boost the industry,” he said.
The Minister said there is a large demand for ornamental fish but Sri Lanka is unable to fulfill the demand.
What should we do to win the world’s market? Through the ornamental fish trade, which is a multibillion dollar industry today in more than 125 countries, you can greatly contribute to the national income. Similarly, this industry can be developed as a self-employment in the villages. As a government we are ready to assist you,” Minister Wedaarachchi told the industry stakeholders.
He said the industry needs to be promoted by the private sector and invited all the stakeholders to commit themselves to boost the ornamental fish industry.
Another industry that has high demand in the world is the cultivation of seaweed and coral reef, the Minister said adding that attention should be paid to boost the aquaculture industry.
He said the industry should be expanded at grass root level throughout the country to provide an income to the village folks.
The Minister stressed on enlightening the public on these industries to succeed and directed the officials to visit the villages and raise awareness on these programs among the people.
“Therefore, at least three persons need to be selected from each Grama Niladhari division to start the ornamental fish industry at village level,” the Minister instructed.