YANGON, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar authorities are striving to open a fishery university for development of its fishery sector following the parliament's approval for such move.
At a meeting of submission of proposal for the opening of the university, Dr. Aung Thu, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, stressed the need for seeking fund, foreign technicians and researchers to bring about the emergence of the university.
Myanmar exported over 500 million U.S. dollars' marine products annually, but the export revenue dropped to 400 million dollars in recent years because of the effect of EI Nino, missing the government's annual export target.
The country has a long coastal line with fisheries resources of 1.05 million tons exploitable annually.
Rivers such as Ayeyawaddy, Chindwin, Sittaung and Thanlwin contribute to the richness of the country's marine resources.
There are currently three fishery vocational institutes in Yangon, Ayeyawaddy and Sagaing regions respectively.
Myanmar is also making efforts to develop its fishery industry by turning its traditional farming method into a modern one.
Accordingly, Myanmar is implementing a program to upgrade the country's livestock and fishery sector in cooperation with European Union (EU) and Germany's state-owned organization GIZ under an agreement signed in Nay Pyi Taw in November last year.
The five-year program 2017-2022, which is called as Myanmar Sustainable Aquaculture Program (MYSAP), will be funded by the EU and GIZ with about 22.5 million euros (26.65 million U.S. dollars) for the program.
The main objective of the program is not only to help Myanmar manufacture value-added fishery products to be exported to EU market but also to enhance the development of the livestock sector for increased income, local food coverage and creating job opportunities.
To develop its fishery sector, Myanmar also conducted fishery research in the country's territorial waters with the assistance of Norwegian research vessel to compile statistics of endangered fish species and to help reverse decreasing fish resources.
Meanwhile, a non-governmental organization, Flora and Fauna International (FFI), has made a survey to establish a marine conservation area in western Rakhine coast run by local people.
The organization will survey on the conditions of coral reef, fish breeding zones, the habitats of native birds as well as the state of mangrove with some villages to be chosen for a marine conservation program after the two-year survey completes.
Currently, FFI, in cooperation with the Fishery Department, is developing a marine conservation area in southern region of Taninthayi.