Prime Minister and Interior Minister, H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani opened yesterday the Aquatic Research Centre of the Ministry of Municipal and Environment in Ras Matbakh, Al Dhakhira district.
The Aquatic Research Centre, which is key to country’s food security, will play a strategic role in developing Qatar’s fisheries wealth.
The Center will initially run with a production capacity of two million larvae of fish in one year. The production capacity will gradually increase as it targets to reach over 20 million larvae of fish within three years.
H E the Prime Minister and Interior Minister toured the departments and units of the Centre, which includes the administrative building, scientific and water laboratories, the part related to fish farming, nursery units and fish fattening units.
His Excellency was briefed about the Centre’s tasks and role in the field of water research, developing the fisheries sector, providing technical support and contributing to achieving self-sufficiency, food security and the annual productive capacity of marine resources.
His Excellency also listened to an explanation about the Centre’s strategic programs for the development of the fish wealth sector, fish farming and aquaculture, research on the marine environment and the protection of natural resources within the framework of the Qatar National Vision 2030 and the State’s plans to advance the fish wealth sector.
The Minister of Municipality and Environment, H E Eng. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Subaie, stressed that the Aquatic and Fisheries Research Centre will play a strategic role in developing the State of Qatar’s fisheries wealth.
Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the inauguration, H E the Minister said that the center has the latest technologies and will carry out research in cooperation with Qatar University on fisheries and how to create the best environment to ensure they thrive. There will also be research on how to save endangered fish. Fish farming projects will also be linked to the newly-opened center in order to obtain the best results.
For his part, President of Qatar University, Dr. Hassan Rashid Al Derham said that the university has always been committed to the environment and marine science, evident by the program it started on the topic for 20 years. The university, with support from the state, also built research vessel Janan to advance research efforts in the field. He also said that Qatar University supported the Aquatic and Fisheries Research Centre since the idea was first proposed.
Meanwhile, Assistant Undersecretary of Agriculture and Fisheries Affairs, H E Sheikh Dr. Faleh Bin Nasser Al Thani said that the center will serve multiple goals that will benefit the environment and the economy. He noted that it will help supply fish farms with certain types of fish to serve local demand. He added that there will also be a method to grow freshwater fish such as Tilapia and other to reach self-sufficiency.
The Head of labs at the newly opened research centre, Dr. Ibrahim Abdullatif Al Mesalmani, said that the center will be crucial to the country’s fish farm efforts. He praised the partnership between the Ministry of Municipality and Environment and Qatar University to save endangered fish.
The Manager of the Fisheries Department at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, Abdul Aziz Ad Dihimi, said that the current self-sufficiency from fresh fish is 75 percent, and set to get to a 100 percent with the launch of the fish farms projects.