16 Oct 2012

Plan for improved biosecurity for fish farming in Pacific

3:00 pm on 16 October 2012

Regional aquaculture experts want improved biosecurity around the Pacific as farmed marine life becomes an increasingly important source of food.

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community says fish farming contributes nearly half the world's supply of fish for food, and it is set to expand in the region to provide for a rapidly growing population.

The body's aquaculture advisor, Robert Jimmy, says Papua New Guinea alone is now home to about 10,000 fish farmers.

He says the SPC and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN have come up with a plan to help Pacific Island countries assess risks and help countries' share expertise.

"Most of the species that are being cultured are not native to member countries. What the SPC and the FAO are looking into is to come up with a regional framework for the member countries to promote and ensure that the species that are being cultured are also taking into account the safety of the environment."

Robert Jimmy says farming on widely scattered islands, with limited technical expertise and difficult communication, are all challenges for the industry.