Fisheries experts in Egypt and Vietnam hope that the cooperation between the experience of Africa's leading freshwater fish producer with that of one of Asia's fastest-growing mariculture sectors will lead to a robust aquaculture industry that utilises both river and sea to feed growing populations and generate export revenues.
A cooperation agreement between Egypt’s General Authority for Fish Resources Development (GAFRD) and Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) inked in May sets a framework for joint fisheries development.
The protocol encourages researchers, trainers and quality control technicians in the two countries to share data, and calls for exchange visits of fisheries and aquaculture officials.
Ahmed Salem, general manager of GAFRD, says the partnership aims to leverage the comparative advantages of each country’s aquaculture industry to advance the development of commercial fish farming.
“The two countries are an ideal match (for technical transfer) as both share a similar economic and social situation, and both offer solutions that do not rely on high technology,” Salem told IPS.
Egypt fresh water specialist
Egypt boasts the largest aquaculture industry in Africa, accounting for four out of every five fish farmed on the continent.
Egyptian fish farms produced over 700,000 tonnes of finfish in 2009, or about 65% of the country’s total fish production.
Vietnam marine water specialist
Vietnam has over two decades of experience in mariculture and is reported to have more than 40,000 offshore cages, mainly for lobster culture.
Private operators also utilise the tropical country’s 3,200 kilometres of coastline to farm shrimp, mollusks, cobia and grouper.