The Commerce Ministry of the People’s Republic of China and the Fujian Institute of Oceanography, in collaboration with the Agriculture Ministry, on Wednesday started a 14-day training course for Guyanese with the main aim of improving their capacity in the aquaculture sector using technological advancements.Participants of the workshop during the opening ceremonyThe 60 stakeholders from private and public organisations will be trained by specialists in scientific research and modernised mechanisms to improve this sector. Over the past decades, China has been a leader in this sector and its expertise is one that can be shared with other countries.It has managed to utilise common resources to develop state-the-art marine systems that can be beneficial and advantageous.Chargé d’Affaires of the Chinese Embassy, Chen Xilai noted that the interest shown for the training was evident from the number of persons attending and the remote areas from which some hailed.“There are about 60 attendees from seven regions which has clearly demonstrated your interest in this training course, provided by the Chinese Government and supervised by the Fujian Institute of Oceanography,” said the Embassy official.Incoming Director of National Cooperation, Ambassador Forbes July used his platform to ensure the two countries’ relationship with each other despite being miles apart. Adding to that, Guyana is capable of making its way into the sustainable aquaculture environment.“Here in Guyana, there are possibilities for development of the subsector with the emergence of very viable economic production to supply both local market and beyond, as well as create opportunities for sustainable livelihoods,” said July.Meanwhile, Agriculture Ministry Permanent Secretary Delma Nedd emphasised that Guyana could thrive in this sector, judging from the favourable conditions present. However, the challenges lie mainly with the exploitation of marine resources and climate change.Nedd stated, “The promotion of aquaculture in Guyana is of great priority and we are blessed with land, fresh water and reasonable favourable conditions to be able to make aquaculture production a significant part of our economic harness.“There are many challenges, challenges such as over-exploitation, illegal and unreported fishing practices, unregulated fishing practices and more recently, climate change. These challenges would have placed significant and tremendous stress on our marine [life],” she added.Owing to these factors, resources are decreasing and this workshop is timely in aiming to broaden this sector.“Our resources in this regard are dwindling at an alarming rate. One measure in addressing this particular issue has been diversifying aquaculture,” Nedd posited.Last year, a similar training programme was facilitated, and the response generated called for provision to host the workshop once again. Over the next two weeks, theoretical discussions will be done along with practical sessions to better understanding of what is necessary.