With a 20% increase already achieved, Malaysia is capable of upping its aquaculture output by 50% by 2020, according to the country’s agriculture minister.
Malaysia: The Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry is confident of achieving the target of increasing aquaculture production to 50 per cent by 2020.
Its minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, said the world fishing industry had now focused on aquaculture activities and was no longer depending on marine catch.
"So far, we have achieved 20 per cent. So, the remaining 30 per cent can be achieved if all quarters cooperate in efforts to empower the aquaculture industry in the country.
"The focus is on aquaculture activities and no longer merely on marine catch because of several factors, like global warming which has impacted marine life," he added.
He told this to reporters after opening the Malaysian International Seafood Exhibition (MISE) 2014 at the Putra World Trade Centre here Thursday.
In a related development, Ismail Sabri said the target of 50 per cent increase in aquaculture production by 2020 was a continuation of a new policy introduced end of last year with the ratio of marine catch to aquaculture at 50:50 from 80:20 previously.
He said the fishing industry contributed 1.3 per cent to the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 12.5 per cent to the country's aquaculture industry.
The ministry, he said, was looking into ways to increase aquaculture production by emphasising on small industries, like breeding of seaweed, coral reef and sea-cucumber.
"We are now discussing to gazette Pulau Bidong in Terengganu into a coral reef centre," he added.
MISE 2014 will be held for three days beginning today until June 21, involving 150 local and foreign exhibitionists.