The government is planning to create a Crab City in Hambantota in addition of setting up two aquaculture industrial parks in Batticaloa and Mannar districts.
These comments were made by the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Mahinda Amaraweera at the Second International Ornamental Fish Trade and Technical Conference held in Colombo.
According to the Minister “Sri Lanka is blessed with more than 10,000 internal reservoirs and some 116 lagoons” He suggested to develop the existing 116 lagoons while setting up several breeding centers in selected areas to develop aquaculture resources of fish species in high demand for export purposes.
Primary Industries Minister Daya Gamage speaking at the event said the world’s ornamental fish industry is worth over US$ 3 billion with exports worth about US$ 300 million. “Sri Lanka is currently the sixth largest supplier of ornamental fish to the global market”
Sri Lanka’s ornamental fish industry has a 50 year history having started in 1952. Sri Lanka exports fresh water, brackish water and marine water fish species, marine invertebrates and aquatic plants.
Due to the overexploitation of the marine ornamental fish species, the government imposed some strict regulations to make sure the industry can be sustained while encouraging the farming of freshwater fish species, the Minister noted.