YANGON, Myanmar, 14 July, 2018 – Aquaculture production in Myanmar has been increasing year by year, providing protein-rich food, income and employment as well as export earnings. In 2017-18, over 560,000 tonnes of aquaculture and fishery products, worth USD 711 million were exported, breaking the 20-year fishery export record. Due to its growth potential, the Myanmar government has set aquaculture intensification as a national priority. To meet the high private sector demand for specialized professionals, the parliament approved the establishment of the Fishery University, where professionals will be educated to preserve aquatic resources and to promote the aquaculture industry.
“With higher aquaculture and fisheries production, [specialized] technicians are required for producers and marketers to apply advanced technology. Myanmar is still behind in aquaculture education compared to neighbouring countries. In Vietnam and Thailand, Can Tho University, Vietnam National Academy of Agriculture and Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) are offering B.Sc. and M.Sc. Aquaculture and Fisheries courses. The Department of Fisheries is actively supporting the establishment of the Fishery University as well as focusing on the promotion of the B.Sc. Fisheries and Aquaculture course for all students at University of Yangon”, said Director General, Department of Fisheries.
The Myanmar Sustainable Aquaculture Programme (MYSAP), funded by the European Union and the German Government, is working with the Department of Fisheries (DoF) to support the sustainable intensification of the aquaculture sector, and to realize its potential for food security, nutrition and livelihoods. To achieve these objectives, MYSAP is working to improve aquaculture education and vocational training.
“To start the process of creating university-level education on aquaculture, MYSAP has been organizing workshops and trainings together with the Department of Fisheries, the Department of Zoology, University of Yangon, and the Myanmar Fishery Federation. We are supporting the processes to open a B.Sc. in Fisheries and Aquaculture as well as a M.Sc. in Aquaculture”, said Peter Buri, Head of Programme – MYSAP.
“The B.Sc. Fisheries and Aquaculture course is designed to provide practical training and adequate scientific knowledge in the different aspects of aquaculture and fisheries management. The students, who achieve total 420 marks in the matriculation exam with minimum 75 marks in Biology and 60 in English, can apply for the B.Sc. Fisheries and Aquaculture”, said Associate Professor Dr. Kay Lwin Tun, Department of Zoology, University of Yangon.
The department plans to take in 50 students for the B.Sc. Fisheries and Aquaculture programme in December 2018. As the aquaculture sector has large growth potential, there are many job opportunities for students after their successful completion of the degree, as fishery technicians, aquaculturists, breeding managers, nutritionists, fishery managers and others.
“For practical lessons and laboratory experiences, the laboratories, field stations and recirculating aquaculture systems are already set up. Third-year students will participate in one-month internship programmes, where they can choose from placements in fish and shrimp farms, hatcheries, fish feed, fish processing or value added product factories”, said Dr. Kay Lwin Tun.