Considering the prospects and economics of fish farming in SI

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I read today, in the Island Sun newspaper, that the Solomon Islands has potential with aquaculture to meet the food security demand in the future.

The article said, quote:

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“According to the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) National Fisheries Policy document 2019-2029, with the support of low labor costs, access to good quality water and fast improving communication technologies, there is opportunity for aquaculture to flourish in the country.

“Although aquaculture is still relatively undeveloped despite a long history beginning in the late 1950s, aquaculture activities have included tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) farming, pearl oyster farming, farming of Macrobrachium rosenbergii, giant clam farming and seaweed (Kappaphycus alvarezii) farming.

“The MFMR stressed that the above activities came about from government and private sector initiatives.”

Here in Thailand, from where I write, fish farming is quite extensive and very largely initiated throughout the country by his late Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej who died in 2016.

 If the Solomon Islands is intent on pursuing aquaculture opportunities then it would be advantageous to seek the expert advice from Norway through the existing diplomatic ties that exist between Norway and the Solomon Islands.

I will quote a précis from an article in the Bangkok Post which related essentially to fish farming in Thailand but gives valuable insights that could benefit aquaculture practice in the Solomon Islands.

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“Norway is more than just another high-volume exporter — it is also a pioneer in modern aquaculture and has developed a highly successful industry over the past 50 years. Farmed fish makes up approximately two-thirds of the total export value of Norwegian seafood, valued at US$8 billion in 2017 alone. It is the world’s biggest producer of farmed salmon.“Built on the vital principles of sustainability, animal welfare and food safety, and based on what is considered by many as the world’s strictest management system for seafood, it serves as an example to other countries with fledgling fish farming industries“Norway has taken a leading role in driving progress towards the SDG by launching an international high-level panel on building a sustainable ocean economy, chaired by the prime minister of Norway herself.

“The panel is working on a report about the importance of the ocean economy for sustainable development. It will also work closely with the UN and engage with other international initiatives.

“Norway’s stringent approach to resource management ensures a dovetailing of economic and societal needs with the preservation of our precious natural resources — a true commitment to food sustainability through environmental concern. This continued focus on developing the most sustainable and technologically advanced methods for aquaculture will give the world the best chance of meeting its growing need for food, without harming the environment around us.”

Written by: Jon Erik Steenslid is the Southeast Asia director of the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Yours sincerely

Frank Short

www.solomonislandsinfocus.com

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