OSLO: Iran and Norway have signed an agreement to produce 5,000 tonnes of saltwater fish through cage culture method in southern Iranian island of Qeshm.
According to Iranian media, the agreement was signed on Friday night by chairman of board of directors of Qeshm Rivas Company, Mohsen Nateq, as the Iranian side of the agreement.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the signing ceremony, Nateq said implementation of the first phase of the project, with the capacity of producing 1,000 tonnes of saltwater fish through cage culture method has already started on Qeshm Island with the participation of the foreign side.
He added that if necessary funds are supplied for the implementation of later phases of the project, total production of saltwater fish will hit the annual nominal capacity of the project at 5,000 tonnes by next year.
According to a report released by the Fisheries Department of the southern Iranian province of Hormozgan, necessary permits for production of 35,000 tonnes of saltwater fish have been issued in the past two years.
Meanwhile, deputy director of Iran Fisheries Organization, Seifollah Haqiqi, noted that through cooperation between Iran’s private sector and Norwegian companies, a total of 35,000 tonnes of saltwater fish is expected to be produced by next Iranian calendar year (starts March 20, 2016) through cage culture method.
During recent years, Iran has been trying to diversify its revenue sources by investing in sectors other than oil, including aquaculture and production of various kinds of fish meant largely for export to neighboring countries.
Last July, an official at Iran Fisheries Organization said the country will soon export about 28,000 tonnes of various kinds of fishery products to its northern neighbor, Russia.
Isa Golshahi, Iran Fisheries Organization’s director general for quality improvement, processing and market development noted that according to contracts signed between the two countries, Iran will start exporting fishery products to Russia in late August.
“According to existing contracts between the two countries, about 28,000 tonnes of fishery products, including shrimp, trout, other varieties of fish, and canned products will be exported to Russia,” he added.
The decision came after Russia banned imports of meat and dairy products as well as fruits, vegetables, and fish from European countries, the US, Canada and Australia, when those countries imposed sanctions against Russia claiming that Moscow had a hand in the unrest in the eastern part of Ukraine.