Minister of Investment Promotion Lakshman Yapa Abewardena formally presenting the BOI Certification of Registration to Irfan Thassim, Founder and Director of Oceanpick Ltd. Omar Kayaam, Director of Oceanpick Ltd is also present
Oceanpick is set to embark on Sri Lanka’s first ever oceanic farm for finfish this August with an investment of approximately US$ 2.5 million.
The project aims to focus on “responsible farming” of high quality marine fish, providing a platform to cater to a growing appetite for quality seafood without overly pressurizing wild stocks.
As per FAO statistics, nearly 50 percent of fish production world wide comes from farmed sources, where as Sri Lanka lags far behind in reaching a sustainable equilibrium and relies 90% or more in wild capture, thus risking depletion of wild stocks beyond sustainable levels in the longer run. Oceanpick hopes its endeavors will trigger a change that will lead Sri Lanka in the direction of reaching a more equitable balance.
The agreement was signed by Irfan Thassim, Founder and Director of Oceanpick and Dr.Lakshman Jayaweera, Chairman of the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka.
The project will set up its farms in the open sea off the Trincomalee coast – the first such cage system to be set up in the country with an ambitious plan to reach nearly 1,000 tons over the next several years. Partnered by a Scottish farming company who pioneered oceanic farming in the North Atlantic some 40 years ago – producing salmon, rainbow trout and halibut, Oceanpick plans to operate Trinco farms per world class standards of their partners.
Whist Sri Lanka’s previous attempts at aquaculture have been mostly been concentrated in brackish water lagoons, fresh water bodies or in land based ponds, Oceanpick recognized the superiority of sea grown produce. This coupled with the greater depth and tidal current profiles offered by the oceans, Oceanpick has handpicked pristine locations in the Trincomalee open seas for its activities.
The first choice specie that Oceanpick will produce will be Barramundi or Asian Sea Bass, locally referred to as Modha. Barramundi has been a preferred fish for its mild buttery taste and Omega 3 content. To ensure peak freshness of all its produce, the project intends to vertically control the entire cold chain process.