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Fishellaneous Items
Angara Predicts Fish Self-Sufficiency
Vietnam Focuses on Aquaculture
Last week, following the announcement of the Philippines’ increased fisheries output, Philippine Agriculture Secretary Edgardo Angara said that the country would be self-sufficient in fish and could even expect a surplus by 2004.
Leading on from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) figures, which reveal that the country’s fishery output rose 3.7% to 2.86 million metric tons (MT) in 1999, Angara said in a statement that for the year 2000 alone, the fishery production target throughout the country is 3 million metric tons.

Angara tasked the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources to help spur fish production throughout the country not only in municipal and commercial fishing but also in aquaculture, the country’s largest fish producing sector.

Fish is the number one source of protein in the Philippines. In the drive towards fish self-sufficiency, the government is pushing to the maximum the production of milk fish and tilapia, which are considered as the Filipinos’ staple fish today.

Source: Fish Info Service, <www.sea-world.com>, 31 January 2000. Reprinted with permission.

Throughout the coming year, the Government of Vietnam will channel scientific and technological activities into serving agricultural and rural development, reports the Vietnam News Agency.
The aim for 2000 is the creation of new high-quality and high-yield strains of plants and animals using scientific and technological advancements and developments. Special attention will be paid to using such advancements to benefit socio-economic development in rural and mountainous areas.

The government stressed the importance of continuing research with the ultimate goal of developing aquaculture and studying measures to mitigate and prevent damage by natural calamities.

During 2000, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment will promote the application of international-standard quality control systems. The department has received a budget of approximately US$90 million for this year.

Source: Fish Info Service, <
www.sea-world.com>, 19 January 2000. Reprinted with permission.

Prevention of Tilapia Spread Given Top Priority in Australia
The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and local catchment associations have joined forces to try and prevent the spread of tilapia into the Mitchell catchment.

DPI Fisheries officers, Mitchell River Catchment Group secretary, Denis Rose, and Barron River Catchment Group secretary, Graham Dalip, are currently developing a pilot regional plan for the Barron and Mitchell catchments.

DPI principal fisheries scientist freshwater, Dr. Peter Jackson, said although it was difficult to establish the exact effects of tilapia on river systems, it was important to stop them invading new areas, particularly large relatively pristine catchments like the Mitchell.

“Once they enter a system it is very difficult and expensive to get rid of them and therefore preventing their spread into new areas is extremely important,” he said.

Dr. Jackson said a number of options for dealing with the pest fish problem were discussed and it was acknowledged that eradication was not really viable at this stage.

He said risk minimisation currently seemed to be the only option and the group was looking at a number of ways in which this could be achieved.

“One of the first things we have to do is survey the area and see how much the fish have spread since

1997 when the last survey was conducted,” Dr. Jackson said.

However, one of the priority actions identified by the meeting was the development of an education and extension programme for the area.

DPI has already distributed brochures and posters outlining the dangers of tilapia as part of its statewide public education programme.

The Atherton Environmental Education Centre’s, Neville Simpson, is also developing an Aquatic Invaders pest fish education module for DPI to trial in some tableland primary schools.

Dr. Jackson said one of the most important messages was that tilapia should never be used as bait, either live or dead.

“Juvenile tilapia of the species Oreochromis mossambicus (the main type found in Queensland) survive in the female’s mouth for days after the parent has died so using them as bait (live or dead) can spread them to uninfested areas,” he said.

Dr. Jackson said people could be fined up to A$150,000 for possessing tilapia or other noxious fish.

Source: Fish Info Service, <www.sea-world.com>, 25 January 2000. Reprinted with permission.