The Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture of the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) in partnership with US Soybean Export Council (USSEC) observed World Fisheries Day with the theme of “Support Sustainable Fishing: Learn Fisheries and Conservation at Ravi Campus.

Fish processing unit start functional on World fisheries day at UVASVarious activities including a walk, fish netting, cooking and fish model competitions and presentations on different topics in seminar were featured to mark the day in befitting manner.

VC, University of Education Lahore (UE) Meritorious Prof Dr Talat Naseer Pasha was the chief guest of the program and inaugurated ‘Fish Processing Unit’ at Ravi Campus Pattoki.

Dean Faculty of Bio sciences Prof Dr Habib-ur-Rehman, Dean Faculty of Animal Production and Technology Prof Dr Anjum Khalique, Chairman Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture Dr Noor Khan, and number of representatives from aquaculture feed industry, stakeholders, faculty members, students, researchers, professionals from fish feed industries, officials from Punjab Fisheries Department and progressive fish farmers were present.

Prof Pasha visited different section of Fish Processing Unit and reviewed state of the art available facilities. This Fish Processing Unit comprised of different section including Quality Assurance Lab, Meeting Room, Processing Unit, Finished Product Room, Store Room, De Scaling-Cleaning and value Addition Lab.

Higher Education Commission (HEC) provided of Rs. 30 million for the development of Fish Processing and Value Addition Unit under enhancement research facility at UVAS Ravi Campus Pattoki. HEC also provided the further fund of Rs. 13.131 million for make its operational under the HEC-TDF project of “Sustainable Fish Meat and Value-Added Fish Products”.

Prof Talat Naseer Pasha addressing the audience in the seminars, highlighted the importance of fish and shared that aquaculture sector is actively developing like other growing sectors in Pakistan.

He said I am satisfied and feel glad to see the team work of Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture leadership especially for the establishment of Fish Processing Unit. A large number of students would be able to get maximum benefits, practical knowledge and skills from this unit.

He urged all the stakeholders should sit together and shared their experiences, innovations, issues, technology and knowledge with each other.

He said in our country private sector always playing its key role especially in the development of poultry industry. He expressed his hope that in future private sector should run this fish processing unit.

He said it is direly needed to start social media campaigns for creating awareness among people about the nutritional importance of fish meat and its benefits for human health.

He said UVAS labs have equipped with state of the art feed amino acid lab facilities for analysis and for imparting practical knowledge to their students.     

Prof Dr Talat Naseer Pasha led the walk while a large number of stakeholders, students and faculty members were participated. Later he visited the stalls of fish value added products prepared by students and appreciated their efforts.

At the end of seminar Prof Pasha distributed shields among all the presenters who delivered their presentations on different topics on World Fisheries Day and all the winners of cooking and modal competitions.

Many informative lectures were delivered by Industries representatives and stakeholders including Dr Khurram Shahbaz, Dr Zahid Yaqub, Mr Kamran Maqsood, Dr Haroon Aslam, Ch Nabeel Akhtar and Mr Faheem Sindhu on the topic of In-Pond Race Ways System (IPRS) in Pakistan, aquaculture success story; case study of Bangladash, aqua feed status and future prospects in Pakistan and role of aqua feed in fish farming and problem of fish farming industry, experience of shrimp culture in Punjab etc.