Scientists from a Norwegian aquaculture research institute will help Myanmar fish farm operators raise hatchlings to offset declining stocks of hilsa shad, a staple food in rural areas, the Myanmar Fisheries Federation said on July 9.
U Han Htun, a member of the association, said experts from the Norwegian Institute of Food, Fishery and Aquaculture (Nofima), will arrive in Myanmar in September to teach fish farm operators how to raise the hatchlings.
The species have been depleted by a decade of overfishing experts said. Nofima has been working with scientists in Bangladesh and India to breed the fish for farming. It announced earlier this year that it is expanding the project to Myanmar where fish farmers typically catch hatchlings in the wild and raise them in ponds.
The introduction of purse seine nets in the late 1990s, however, has rapidly depleted stocks, U Han Htun said, explaining that these nets catch smaller fish and do not allow any to escape.
Myanmar exported about 100,000 tons of the fish annually three decades ago, but this fell to 40,000 tonnes a year in the late 1990s and about 16,000 tons a year over the past few years.
Daw Toe Nandanar Tine, treasurer of the Myanmar Fishery Products Processors and Exporters Association, called for stricter control of nets used for fishing so that hatchlings remain in the wild.
Source: Myanmar Times