Inland aquaculture fisheries to expand from Pakistan-China cooperation

ISLAMABAD – Inland aquaculture is a potential area for Pak-China cooperation to earn foreign exchange, says a report published by Gwadar Pro.

According to Dr. Saeed Murtaza Hasan Andravi, Director of Animal Sciences Institute, NARC in Pakistan, fisheries is a big and emerging sector, especially inland fisheries.

As for marine fishery, nature has provided us with a long coast-line where we catch different natural varieties of fish and seafood which we are also exporting.

Then we have inland fisheries, freshwater fisheries in Pakistan. He told Gwadar Pro that this is an emerging sector and has proven itself that in an agricultural country where crops and livestock are important, fishery is also valuable at the same time.

He explained that it provides a good diet to humans, which is high in protein and can be exported to earn foreign exchange, adding that “if we look at all these factors such as human health, poverty alleviation, nutritious diet, export, fisheries has proven itself.”

Meanwhile, China is advanced in aquaculture fishery. According to the National Scientific Big Data Sharing Platform for Fishery, from 2015 to 2019, the gross output value of China’s mariculture industry and freshwater aquaculture industry maintained an average annual growth rate of about 5% and 2%, respectively.

In this new avenue in the business sector, Dr. Saeed Murtaza Hasan Andravi believes that aquaculture fisheries can be a good opportunity for Chinese investors and the Pakistani side can learn from Chinese experience and expertise.

“For the inland fish farming, farmers need a good, cheap and easily available aqua feed. This is a very good field for Chinese investment.

As for breeding, Chinese investors can bring the new Chinese fish breeds to Pakistan and set up their farms, hatcheries and sell these and their eggs to the farmers. This also requires investment, preferably from Chinese,” he said.

Now a huge quantity of Pakistan’s seafood is exported to China, “we need to open avenues of export to China from aquaculture and inland fisheries along with seafood.”

Pakistani scientists have been working with Chinese experts in close liaison for the past few years and working to introduce Chinese breeding techniques and Chinese breeds such as trout to Pakistan.

According to Rehana Kausar, a senior scientific officer at Animal Sciences Institute, NARC, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) has established two laboratories at its research station namely Mountain Agriculture Research Centre (MARC) Juglote, Gilgit-Baltistan, with the technical cooperation of Gansu Fisheries Research Institute (GFRI), China.