Iraq Seeks Self-Sufficiency in Fish Production, a service of Al-Shorfa
Mon, Mar 31, 2014

by Khalid al-Taie

The Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture recently rolled out a new plan to bolster the country's fish industry in order to achieve national self-sufficiency in fish production.

The plan, announced in February, aims to develop and expand Iraq's fish farming projects, the most prominent of which is a project for the production of fingerling fish at the ministry's main hatcheries in al-Suwairah, al-Sharash and al-Maimouna in southern Iraq.

The fingerling fish project is a strategically important initiative which has had a positive impact on fish production in Iraq, since 2006 it has facilitated the production of about 80 million fish, said Musadeq Delfy Ali, general director of the state company for animal wealth services.

"Every year, the larger part of this fingerling fish mass is released into the rivers, lakes and marshes to increase and grow the fish population, while the rest is sold at subsidised prices to fish farmers to raise and meet the local market's needs," he said.

The ministry tries to support those growers financially by granting them special loans to develop their fish cages and ponds within the framework of the national agricultural development initiative, he said.

According to the ministry undersecretary, reaching self-sufficiency in fish production represents "a strategic goal which we are trying to accomplish, because this type of food has high nutritional value and must be made available to all Iraqi families, and in sufficient quantities.”

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