Myeik Archipelago shifts focus from fishing to farming to preserve marine resources

U Tun Naung Oo, the district officer of the Myeik District Fisheries Department (Taninthayi Region), reports a shift towards farming rather than fishing in the Myeik Archipelago. This change comes as saltwater shrimp farming businesses show reasonable success.
Over the past five years, saltwater shrimp farming has flourished in the Myeik Archipelago. However, due to declining catches in offshore fishing and rising fuel costs, business owners are now promoting farming practices. Shrimps are cultivated in inland lakes, with each lake producing up to 35 tonnes within three to four months of adding baby shrimps.
“In summer, we add over 1.2 million fry shrimps to a lake, while one million is added in the rainy season. On average, this yields between 25 to 30 tonnes. During favourable weather in summer, productivity increases slightly to between 30 and 35 tonnes,” explains U Tun Naung Oo. “It takes 90 to 120 days to produce 30 tonnes of shrimps after adding the fry shrimps. With numerous suitable locations for shrimp farming in our region, the practice is gaining popularity. As more people engage in this business, traditional sea fishing for fish, prawns, shrimps, and crabs has declined, gradually replacing the income for fishermen.”
Several islands in the Myeik Archipelago, including Katan Island, Masanpa Island, Kyagyiaw Island, and islands in Palaw and Thahtay, host saltwater shrimp farming businesses that export to the Thai market. With support from relevant departments, the farming industry in the region has significant potential for further growth. — ASH/ TMT

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