An Abu Dhabi-based fish farming company is planning to conserve the fast depleting fish stock including hamour and will boost the its domestic output through integrated fish clusters.
Asmak will encourage the UAE nationals to setup fish farms on commercial scale, and buy-back the produce from the farmers which will be processed and distributed to the supermarkets, under the concept.
The International Fish Farm Company or Asmak , a fish farming company listed on Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, in this regard has prepared three different projects to be executed in the first half of the next year.
Plan will also save the most popular fish hamour from extinction, as it would be farmed on on-shore as well as off-shore cage farms.
The country is facing the threat of hamour's extinction from its waters, as its stock has reduced to 10 per cent of what it used to be in 70's, said Mamoon Othman, group chief executive officer International Fish Farming Holding Company or Asmak told Khaleej Times, on the sidelines of SIAL 2012, the Middle East Food Exhibition in Abu Dhabi.
Under the plan, four most popular fish Hamour, Sea Bream, Baramundi and Tilapia would be farmed in two different projects costing over Dh220 million, in the Western region of Abu Dhabi, where the government is shifting the focus of economic growth and expansion.
"In the short term project costing Dh70 million, the fish would be farmed in off-shore cage farms," the group chief executive officer said. "Under the plan 50-cage farms each having the capacity to produce 25 metric tons of fish, per annum would be setup in Abu Dhabi," Mamoon Othman said.
The project, which is currently being reviewed by the three different agencies of Abu Dhabi would go into development stage within the first quarter of next year, costing Dh70 million, half of which will be spent on the development of the infrastructure and remaining for the working capital.
The second project, which will be in the form of an integrated cluster, where farmers will encouraged to set up a fish farm, costing up to Dh3 million.
Asmak will help the farmers built the entire infrastructure providing fish brooding, figure links which the farmer will then farm at their farms.
Each farm will have the capacity to produce 100 metric tonnes of fish per annum, offering attractive returns on the capital expenditure spent which is up Dh500,000 per harvest, Othman said. The risk-averse banks are not very keen on providing financing to the fish farm, fearing the associated risks. However, the government can find alternative sources of funding them, in order to give big boost to the domestic production of fish.