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Annex V


Mr. Y. Uchimura
Director General, Fishery Agency of Japan
and Conference Chairman

Your Excellency the Minister, Dr. Kasahara from FAO, Fellow Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all, please allow me to introduce myself to you all. I am Yoshihide Uchimura, Director General of the Fishery Agency. I consider it a great honour to have been elected Chairman of the significant FAO Technical Conference on Aquaculture and I shall try my best to perform this great responsibility with your kind cooperation.

I am really grateful for this opportunity to extend our heartfelt welcome to so many participants coming a long way from every part of the world to this insular country situated in the Far East. At the same time, I highly value the many efforts so far made by the staff of FAO to make this Conference possible and appreciate greatly the interest shown by the many people who have gathered here from many countries.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, the fishery sector today is increasing its importance in the world as an industry to supply animal protein food indispensable to human life. Demand for fishery products will continue to increase for many years to come. According to the forecast made by FAO, it is estimated that in the very near future the demand would increase up to the level of 120 million tons, which is an amount nearly double the present level of total catch of the world.

In order to enable the fishery industry to meet the needs of world populations and to supply adequate volume of animal protein food to mankind, efforts must be made through international cooperation to promote the increase of fishery resources, exploiting potential resources and utilizing the products more effectively, not to speak of ensuring sustained yield of the resources now being exploited.

In this context, we consider it very timely for us to have this forum for discussions on aquaculture technology and its related problems for so many experts specialized in various fields. This is certainly a very useful event for the future development of world fishery.

As you know, Japan ranks as the largest fishery nation in the world and the records for 1974 show that the total catch was over 10 million tons as in the previous two years. I think I can say that this is because our nation is one of those well-known few that lives on fish. For a very long time we have depended on seafoods for the protein which is indispensable for maintenance of life. It is therefore needless to mention that the quantity of seafoods we consume is extremely large, both per caput and as a whole for the nation. Besides this, the seafoods we eat are numerous in their variety including even cuttlefish, octopus, sea-urchin, sea-cucumber and seaweeds as well as fish, shellfish, lobster, prawn and crab which are commonly eaten by people of other nations also.

In order to satisfy such diversified demand for seafoods, we have been making our utmost efforts to cultivate various kinds of fish, shellfish and seaweeds. The total production from aquaculture in both sea and fresh water reached 930 000 tons in 1974, which accounted for about 9 percent of the total fishery production in the same year. Efforts are also being made to make the best use of the natural productivity of the sea for the purpose of growing fry of fish raised through artificial propagation and released into the sea after rearing to a selfsupportable stage.

I believe that such research activities as I mentioned are of vital importance for future development of the world fishery, not only to conserve fishery resources but also to increase them.

As His Excellency the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry said, we have arranged study tours to provide you with opportunities to familiarize yourselves with our aquaculture facilities in operation. I hope this will be both interesting and useful for you.

Now that international cooperation is required to promote development of aquaculture technology, it is indeed significant to have this assembly. I sincerely hope that this will be the best opportunity for you to exchange views and opinions to solve any common or particular problems, not only at the sessions but also in informal discussions outside the sessions.

As the Chairman, I would appreciate your assistance and cooperation in the conduct of the Conference in order to make it a great success.

Thank you for your attention.

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