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Natural Resources
August 6, 2007

More survey on Myanmar marine resources to be conducted
Experts of the Southeast Asia Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) will conduct another survey of marine resources in Myanmar waters next year and species with commercial potential will be focused, local media reported August 5.

The survey by the regional fisheries organization based in Myanmar will be the second since early February-March this year, during which 17 local fishing blocks were covered by a team of the experts aboard the MV SEAFDEC-2 research vessel, the Myanmar Times said in Monday's issue pre-published on August 6.

The SEAFDEC conducted the survey in three phases in Myanmar's delta region fishing grounds and those near shore as well as in deep-sea fishing areas up to a depth of 200 meters, to identify the status of marine resources such as fish and plankton and to compile oceanographic information.

The MV SEAFDEC-2, donated by the Japanese government, visited Myanmar in May 2004 on demonstration of the ship's fishing and research equipment and capacity.

According to official statistics, Myanmar's fishery sector stood the fourth largest contributor to the gross domestic product and also the fourth largest source of foreign exchange earning in the past five years.

Myanmar's marine exports hit over $234 million in the fiscal year 2006-07 which ended in March, up 14% from 2005-06's $205 million, according to local reports.

Meanwhile, the country is striving to increase the export value sharply in the present fiscal year of 2007-08 in the light of rising foreign market demand for the products, the Ministry of Commerce said.

Of the line-up of Myanmar's top-10 marine exporting countries, China has stood first for the past eight consecutive years since 1998-99, replacing Singapore which held the status previously.

Meanwhile, the Myanmar Fisheries Federation has become a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Fisheries Federation in September 2002.

With a long coastline of over 2,800 km and a total area of 500, 000 hectares of swamps along the coast, the country has an estimated sustainable yield of marine products at over 1 million tons a year. Xinhua

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