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Jul 28, 2011 11:51:32 AM - itnnews.lk

Commitment of the Asian political leadership is vital to collectively overcome the challenges faced by fisheries and aquaculture. President Rajapaksa made this observation delivering the keynote address at the Asian Regional Ministerial Meeting on Aquaculture for Food Security, Nutrition and Economic Development which opened in Colombo this morning. The President pointed out that many policy initiatives such as strong trading standards, removing non-tariff barriers and eliminating unfair trading practices are imperative for the welfare of our fish farmers. This meeting is most timely because the natural habitat of fish is being gravely threatened and aqua-culture development is of special importance.” Methods that can improve sustainability are necessary because their absence can have adverse effects on small farmers and fishers. The President underlined that these issues had to be tackled with speed and great sensitivity before vulnerable communities that depend on fishing and fish farming are harmed.

The two-day Conference which concludes tomorrow is being attended by representatives from 17 nations including China, India, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia. Ministers Rajitha Senaratne and Basil Rajapaksa and Deputy Minister Susantha Punchinilame were present.