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Wednesday, 27 July 2011

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Regional aquaculture promotion meet

Key fisheries policy makers and planners from 18 countries in the Southeast Asia- Pacific Region yesterday met at Hilton Colombo to discuss the merits of regional aquaculture and promotion ahead of the Asian Regional Ministerial Meeting on Aquaculture for Food Security, Nutrition and Economic Development to be held on July 28 and 29.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa will inaugurate the ministerial meeting tomorrow, which will be attended by Fisheries Ministers from major fishing nations, including Thailand, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Philippines, Laos, China, Australia, Cambodia,Malaysia,Vietnam and New Zealand.

The meeting will conclude with the signing of what is called the 'Colombo Declaration' which will be the criteria for development of the aquaculture industry in the South Asian region, said Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry Secretary Dr Damitha De Soyza.

"The meetings today and tomorrow are held with the policy makers to facilitate the Colombo Declaration which will provide guidelines for initiatives aimed at developing aquaculture industry in the region," she explained.

The meeting will have the participation of the industry and international agencies for commercial fisheries.

She said they as policy makers and planners will be working to advance the process of facilitation to provide the necessary background for making the 'declaration', which will be issued at the end of the Ministerial Meeting on Friday (29).

The meeting is expected to strengthen regional integration, which will be paramount if we seek to set the development of local aquaculture industry on a fast track.

"We have discussed proposals that aim to do this through initiatives to coordinate efforts in the region," she said.

 

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