GEORGE TOWN, May 10 (Bernama) -- Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industries is focusing on improving the aquaculture industry in order to reduce Malaysian's dependency on captured fisheries.
Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Sim Tze Tzin said Malaysia is currently facing a global problem of depleting fishing resources because the need for fish has increased due to the population growth.
He said at this point of time, the country still achieved about 90 percent of size sustainable level for fish, as some of the fish are imported from neighbouring countries.
"Generally, we still can feed Malaysians with some captured and aquaculture fish but in moving forward we need to develop our aquaculture industry to the stage that it would become 50-50 percent of dependency for captured and aquaculture fish," he told reporters after visiting the World Fish Centre, an international research organisation that harnesses fisheries and aquaculture to reduce hunger and poverty here today.
He added that currently, Malaysian are depending on captured fishing with the ratio standing at 70 percent while the remaining 30 percent depended on aquaculture.
Sim said unlike the national numbers, Penang had been able to achieve the 50-50 ratio for captured and aquaculture fish and it was a great role model for the country to study.
"I have visited a number of aquaculture facilities here and I think this is a good business opportunity especially for the younger generation to get involved to build a better future for all," he said.
He said the Department of Fisheries is offering quite a number of training programmes, pilot fish farming programme and technical advice to all parties who were keen on aquaculture.
However, Sim who is also the Member of Parliament for Bayan Baru said there were quite a number of problems that needed to be resolved such as identifying suitable location for aquaculture, problem on industry pollution, high cost of fish feed and diseases on aquaculture.
"That was the reason why the country needs to collaborate with more NGO such as the World Fish to find solutions for all these problems," he said.