Qatar has partnered with a UK aquatic center to develop legislation for regulating fish farming projects to increase the self-sufficiency of the country in fish production.
Written by Sanaullah Ataullah / The Peninsula
Picture by Abdul Basit / The Peninsula
“We are holding a workshop in collaboration with the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) at the United Kingdom government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to study legislation to regulate fish farming,” said Sheikh Dr Falih bin Nasser Al Thani, Assistant Under-Secretary for Agricultural Affairs and Fisheries at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment.
Speaking to The Peninsula on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the workshop, Sheikh Faleh said that the results of the workshop will help make rules to regulate and protect the fish farming in the country.
“The legislation will focus on how to stop spread of infectious diseases from fish farming projects to sea and vice versa and to specify the suitable species of fish for farming,” said Sheikh Faleh.
To recall, by the end of 2017, the Ministry of Municipality and Environment signed a contract with a private company to launch a fish farming project in floating cages in the sea with the capacity 2,000 tonnes of fish in a year.
A three-day workshop on increasing the production of sustainable aquaculture in Qatar began on Monday at the premises of Aquatic Research Center in Ras Matbak.
The event is being organised by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, represented by the Agriculture and Fisheries Affairs Sector in cooperation with Cefas.
“The workshop is being organised at a time when the issue of food security assumed great importance in Qatar,” said Sheikh Faleh while speaking at the opening ceremony of workshop.
He said that topics like ‘current situation and future outlook on aquaculture in Qatar’,and ‘developing a concept on how the best international practices can be applied’ will be discussed at the workshop.
“Technical expertise and capabilities required for a safe and sustainable aquaculture which Cefas can offer to the Ministry will be presented at the workshop,” said Sheikh Faleh.
He hinted the Ministry’s projects of fish farming on floating cages in sea in partnership with the private sector to produce 6,000 tonnes of fish annually in a marine water area of 270 hectares and a coastal area of Al Arish area of 111 hectares for prawn farming to produce at least 1,000 tonnes of marine shrimp annually.
Ajay Sharma, Ambassador of UK to Qatar praised the efforts made to organise this workshop in partnership between the two parties. “The United Kingdom is committed to support Qatar to achieve long-term food security and self-sufficiency in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030 in aquaculture,” said Sharma.
He added that the UK has a strong base of expertise and experience noting that there is great potential for cooperation in this area to support the sustainable development of the aquaculture sector in Qatar.