Doha: Director of Fish Wealth Department at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME), Abdulaziz Mohammed Al Dehaimi, has said that fish farming project in floating cages in the sea is fully on track as per plan of the Ministry to ensure food security in the country.
The fish farming projects aims at covering the growing demands of fresh fish in local market maintaining strategic reserve of fish in the sea.
“The Ministry is preparing to mark officially the arrival of first batch of farmed fish barramundi, commonly known as Asian sea bass soon,” Abdulaziz Mohammed Al Dehaimi told The Peninsula during a recent MME event.
He said that farming of sea bass began at the first fish farming project on floating cages by Al Qamra Holding Group at northern coastal area of the country.
“The commercial fish farming will begin this year with most favourite fish for citizens and expatriates like Hamour, Sha’m, Sebaiti and Safi as per the contract of the project which targets to farm 2,000 tonnes in a year,” said Al Dehaimi.
He said that the Ministry also planning to float tenders for other similar projects for farming fish on floating cages by the end of 2022 to increase the self-sufficiency to the targeted level after success of first project.
Al Dehaimi said that fish farming project began with sea bass because it grow faster and very soon other species will be added to increase the capacity as per the plan.
Ministry of Municipality and Environment had signed a contract with a private company, Al Qamra Holding Group, to launch a fish farming project in floating cages in the sea in the northern part of the country.
The project will add annually 2,000 tonnes of fish of different verities including orange spotted grouper to the existing capacity of fish production in the country.
The project is a massive plan of the Ministry to increase Qatar’s self-sufficiency in fresh fish production from the existing 80 percent to 100 percent during the next five years. The Fish Wealth Department, recently announced to harvest first batch of 900kg vannamei shrimps farmed at its Aquatic Research Center at Ras Matbakh, marking the success of the project.
Ras Matbakh Center, a nucleus of fish farming projects launched by the Ministry under National Food Security Strategy 2018-23 to support strategic stock of fish in the sea and to increase self-sufficiency of Qatar in fresh food production including fish by releasing baby fish in the sea and supplying to private fish farming facilities at subsidised prices.
So far, the Department released 25,000 baby Hamour fish and 426,000 Sh’am baby fish at different places in the sea to maintain fish stock in Qatari water.