The Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) is getting ready for the official opening of the QR230mn Aquatic Research Centre at Ras Matbakh this month, local Arabic daily Arrayah reported on Saturday.
The opening is part of Qatar's plans to develop the fisheries sector. It is considered as one of the largest projects of its kind with its research, production and technical support aspects.
A source at the MME has pointed out that the centre will work on pursue scientific research and studies to look into the best ways of fish breeding, with special focus on the local varieties of economic value to increase the volume of domestic production and supply the needs of the local market accordingly. In addition, the strategy aspires to maintain a surplus of production that could be imported.
A view of a section of the fish production facilities at the centre.
The centre has special aquaculture facilities and a unit for fish breeding with a capacity of 2.4mn fish larvae with four hatching seasons a year. Spread across 110,000sqm, the centre has the potential to raise its production capability to 10mn fish a year. There is also another unit for shrimps which could ultimately produce six tonnes a year.
The source stressed that the country has been working to achieve 90% self-sufficiency of fish locally by 2023 and expected that the percentage of self-sufficiency would amount to 79% this year, and the following year 87% and goes up gradually until the target is met.
Regarding self-sufficiency of shrimps, the strategy is to reach 100% self-sufficiency by 2023 through the production of 1,000 tonnes annually in the Al-Arish Area, touching 5% in 2020, 25% in 2021 and 75% in 2022.