Joint venture project sees launch of barramundi farm in Sri Lanka
A joint venture project between Sri Lankan company Oceanpick and Kames Fish Farming Ltd of Scotland has seen the launch of the first marine fish farm in Sri Lanka. Using Fusion Marine polyethylene two-ring circular pens, the new farm has been stocked with the first barramundi juveniles with plans to diversify into other species in the future.
In a project co-ordinated by Kames, the farm at Trincomalee harbour in north-east Sri Lanka comprises of four 40m circumference Fusion Marine Aquaflex pens with safety workstations. This will be shortly followed with an additional ten 60m pens at an oceanic location outside the harbour. Kames Fish Farming also oversaw the construction of a land-based nursery for barramundi, working in conjunction with UK based marine hatcheries specialist PJD Gatland Associates.
Oceanpick is intent on developing a ‘responsibly farmed’ operation at Trincomalee and extensive studies and modelling were carried out to assess the suitability of the site, which was conducted by locally based environmental specialists, Transtech.
With the full support from the Sri Lankan Government, this project will raise the profile of the country’s fishery sector and provide a more sustainable equilibrium between wild-caught and farmed production.
The first harvest of barramundi is scheduled to occur at the end of this year and Oceanpick has ambitious plans to expand production to more exposed site outside the harbour basin. It also intends to upgrade the nursery to a full hatchery for barramundi in the near future. To ensure peak freshness of all its produce, the project intends to vertically control the entire cold chain process.
Peter Richardson of Kames Fish Farming said: “This is a great moment for Sri Lanka and for a sustainable future for fish production. It will help protect the stocks of wild fish around the coasts of Sri Lanka and it will also create employment not just on the farms but for a whole raft of businesses which will be required to support the fish farms.”
As well as the Aquaflex pens, Fusion Marine supplied decking material made from recycled plastic for use in the construction of a service raft for the fish farm.
Stephen Divers, managing director of Fusion Marine, said: “Our Aquaflex pens are ideal for pioneering new farm operations and have been successfully used in a number of countries around the world. We are delighted at the success of Oceanpick and Kames in getting the farm operational and we wish them well for the future.”