Education Reporter :
LAHORE : The University of Veterinary & Animal Sciences (UVAS) Lahore organised a stakeholders meeting of Fisheries and Aquaculture Industry Liaison Working Group for the promotion of fisheries and aquaculture sector in Punjab.
Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Nasim Ahmad chaired the meeting while Director General Department of Fisheries Punjab Dr Sikander Hayyat, Dean Faculty of Fisheries and Wildlife Prof Dr Noor Khan while professionals, fish farmers, representatives from fish feed industry and UVAS faculty members were present.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof Nasim appreciated the collaboration of academia and the industry. He suggested the constitution of a committee including members from other universities, Punjab Fisheries Department and private industry partners to review and decide an action plan for the enrolment in BS Fisheries and Aquaculture program. He also suggested studying the regional degree plans for fisheries, so that the level of studies would remain at international standards. Furthermore, the VC appreciated formation of Pakistan Fisheries and Aquaculture Society and requested active participation of members for its registration at national level.
Earlier Chairman Department of Fisheries & Aquaculture Dr Muhammad Hafeez-ur-Rehman spoke about the history of faculty, ongoing projects, national & international universities linkages, collaboration with the fisheries and aquaculture industry, research facilities and future vision of the Department UVAS.
Later, an open discussion was held and all the participants put forward various suggestions for promotion of BS Fisheries and Aquaculture Degree. The personnel from feed industry and fish hatcheries were unanimously of the view that employees with degree in Fisheries and Aquaculture are performing far better in the industry compared to employees with other degrees, and graduates from UVAS are very prominent in the sector due to their sound knowledge. Some progressive farmers shared their experiences of new aquaculture technologies like In-Pond Race Ways System (IPRS), Biofloc, Aquaponics and RAS. Moreover, the participants also discussed the constraints in the adoption of these techniques.
The participants also discussed the impact of Covid-19 on Fisheries sector, and agreed that people have jumped to Fisheries during the pandemic due to lack of job in-securities in other sectors. It was decided that farmers should also focus on culture of catfish, processing and value addition of fish and fish export to gain maximum remunerations from the fisheries sector.
Dr Sikander Hayyat assured his full support in the amendments in the rules for jobs in Punjab Fisheries Department, so that maximum fisheries graduates can be benefitted. Additionally, he also announced that Department of Fisheries, Punjab will soon announce a budget of Rs 500 million for applied research in academia and industry.