KOTA KINABALU – The Sea covers 71 per cent of the mother earth surface; however even with the vast areas, seafood supplies has been constraint and curtail
According to Professor Dr Saleem Mustafa researcher and lecturer in the UMS Borneo Marine Research Institute; seafood supply is insufficient despite of intensification to conserve.
“We have exhausted the capacity of the ocean to supply food by capture fisheries. The fish will not be able to survive without biodiversity links.
“When you over fishing the fish cannot replenish and this is bad for the breeding process. So that is why over fishing is a trait to the seafood supply and a lost to the biodiversity,” he said to SayangSabah at the International Conference on Marine Science & Aquaculture at Promenade Hotel, here today.
Dr. Saleem said the alternative method is aquaculture.
“We are trying to return back what we have taken from the sea, trying to rebuild the population. This is one way for us to sustain the seafood supply in our country.
“We have to manage the fisheries and at the same time go into aquaculture,” he said.
He disclosed that aquaculture is the main driver for the blue economy as the production is almost the same as the production of the capture fisheries.
“Aquaculture is carried out in a much smaller areas compare to the ocean; however because of the intensive production metrics available it can bridging the gaps of supply and demand,” he said.
When it comes to aquaculture, Universitas Borneo Tarakan (UBT) Indonesia have first-hand experience. According to the University’s Rector Dr. Bambang Widigdo they may lacking on the facilities on research and development but they have the expertise to implement the research.
“We don’t have the facilities like what they have in UMS. What they have here is more advance than what we have. We have the experience as our people has been working in the aquaculture industry before,” he said.
Dr. Bambang said that UBT was lacking when it comes to research facilities and equipment as the University just started in 2001.
“Even though we are still not optimum in operating aquaculture but in production we have manage a lot in Tarakan.
“We are still in the beginning stages and in the midst of developing a Research Science Park with part of the project being aquaculture,” he said.
He disclosed to SayangSabah that in Indonesia there are five Universities that are funded by the Indonesian government to develop the Science Park and Universitas Borneo Tarakan is one of them.
When asked on their plan with UMS; Dr. Bambang informed that besides to have students exchange with UMS, the university also intended to bring UMS to Tarakan for a join research on their natural resources. – By Fizah Yusof/SayangSabah