Sunday 21 January 2018
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Oceanpick’s first batch of fledgling fish for aquaculture brings hope for SL’s fisheries sector

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MAY 02 2016

Diresh Jayasuriya in Trincomalee

Oceanpick (Pvt) Ltd unveiled ‘Round Island’, its oceanic fish farming brand in Sri Lanka on April 25, 2016 at Eagles’ Golf Links, China Bay, Trincomalee, marking the island’s bold entry into aquaculture farming in the open seas.

Founder/Director of Oceanpick, Irfan Thassim, said, “We started fish farming business in Sri Lanka in 2014 and we have invested US$ 4.5 million for this project. We are going to expand this project further in Trincomalee and looking to expand in other suitable areas in the country. In near future we are going to invest more on fish farming.”“At the moment we are exporting Barramundi fish to US, Russia and Australia. Currently we have the production capacity of 400 MT and we are going to increase the production capacity up to 1,000 MT in 2018,” he said.

“Oceanpick has created history by launching the sea cages into the ocean. Oceanpick is Sri Lanka’s and South Asia’s first ever commercial scale oceanic farm for finfish. Our objective with this venture is not merely to make supreme quality seafood available to consumers, but also to raise Sri Lanka’s fishery industry to new heights of sustainability by reducing reliance on dwindling natural marine resources. We focus on responsible farming that is highly sustainable, to produce high quality seafood without compromising on taste,” he said.

Public Enterprise Development Minister, Kabir Hashim said, “We are looking at new industries in this country and this fish farming project is one of them. With the EU ban lifted, there was a proposal being done recently and this is the correct time we should move forward.”

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Oceanpick’s General Manager, Operations, Fazli Nayeem, said, “Sri Lanka has abundant potential to be a major player in global seafood production with the launch of this ocean fish farming and Oceanpick’s cage system is Sri Lanka’s first such facility. Our venture in ocean fish farming is a revolution in Sri Lanka’s fishery industry.”

Launched in 2012, in partnership with Kames Fish Farming of Scotland, Oceanpick stocked the sea cages with barramundi juveniles in 2014.

The initial batch was introduced into a pen, kicking off Sri Lanka’s accessibility to premium quality, responsibly-farmed marine fish, with the first harvest scheduled for 2016.

Oceanpick’s first choice species is Barramundi or Asian Sea Bass, locally referred to as Modha. Of the many farms around the world, only handful farm Barramundi in open pristine seas and Oceanpick now takes Sri Lanka into this elite league of premium Barramundi.

The company also delivers product to the Colombo, South and Central hills and to a host of customers overseas.

The event was also graced by Daya Gamage, Minister of Primary Industries.