Aquaculture Research Needs, Priorities and Capacities in Sri Lanka
J.M.P.K. JAYASINGHE and A.M. JAYASEKARA
Aquaculture is one of the most rapidly expanding activities which has become a major non-traditional foreign exchange earner in Sri Lanka. It is important as a cheap source of protein in the diet of rural communities. Lack of a clear national research policy and long term planning have resulted in ad hoc changes in aquaculture research priorities and programmes.
Most of the priority areas identified fall within the development of shrimp culture, capture based culture fisheries development in inland water bodies and ornamental fish culture. There is a need to diversify aquaculture species and culture systems and to evaluate their economic feasibility. Research capacities in the areas of aquaculture, socio-economics, legal aspects, sea farming and improvement of breeding techniques are inadequate. Still there is no efficient mechanism to transfer research findings to the end users. National aquaculture research policy is mainly based on the national aquaculture development plan. Improvement of research capacities, co-ordination and linkage between researchers, farmers, and extension workers will promote the sustainable development of the aquaculture industry in Sri Lanka.