KOTA KINABALU – Aquaculture is an area of great significance to blue economy, where seafood production is a major component.
The Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry Datuk Yahya Hussin said this sector contributes to economic growth, food security and employment.
“Aquaculture need to grow to meet the demand of the increasing number of human population,” he said in his speech delivered by his deputy Datuk Sairin Karno at the launching of the International Conference on Marine Science and Aquaculture : Challenges and Opportunities in Developing Blue Economy at Promenade Hotel, here today.
He stated that the blue economy provides opportunities of many disciplines of science and social science to provide innovative solutions which contribute to a better quality of life to people within the ecological limits.
“It is no exaggeration to say that our country’s economic outlook will be bright through policies and programmes that unite green and blue economies towards sustainable development.”
“By making use of marine resources in ways that do not threaten their sustainability makes economy resilient and reduces environmental risks,” he said.
The coastal water of Southeast Asia is home to the largest diversity of marine life in the world. The Coral Triangle area, which is the area surrounding the waters of Sabah, Philippines, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, is home to more than 75 percent of the world’s known species of corals, 35 percent of all known coral reef fish species, and the largest tuna fishery spawning and juveniles growth area.
As such, the Southeast Asian waters provide food security to those living in these areas.
However, there are issues of complexity surrounding the blue economy; Yahya disclosed that one need to address with the problems with fisheries and seafood security at the same time deal with the climate change which is threatening the resources that form blue economy.
“ I hope this conference will put the negative impacts and issues of marine in the right perspective.”
“In fact, the discussions should focus on the models of aquaculture that are more efficient compared to livestock farming systems by proposing ways and means of transforming aquaculture towards zero carbon production modules,” he said.
Meanwhile, Universiti Malaysia Sabah Vice Chancellor Datuk Harun Abdullah said that the blue economy should be considered in the sustainable development and human well-being.
“Blue economy is not just about exploitation of ocean resources but it is rooted deep in separating socio-economic development from environmental degradation which is consistent with the principles of green economy,” he said.
Harun stated that the blue economy is intricately linked to the stability of marine ecosystem.
“The health of blue economy will depend on the health of the ocean ecosystem. We will be risking our own future if we do not take good care our oceans,” he said. – By Fizah Yusof/SayangSabah