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Cluster development in the fishery and aquaculture industry
21:17:45 - 2017/27/04
Management of fisheries and aquaculture is an issue that has received widespread attention in the literature. The particular concern is the relationship among fishermen, fish farmers, management institution and fish resources.

This relationship is very important for sustainable development of sea resources in Iran. Overfishing, uncertainty in fish availability and changing Iranian government fisheries management are important challenges for fisheries and coastal management in the south of Iran. In addition, aquaculture in Iran is linked to the fish resources via spawner catch from the coastal area. Iranian governmental fisheries management policy has changed during recent years. Government role in fisheries management changed from direct involvement to the monitoring and indirect management. In addition, there are some kinds of cooperative that available in the region. However, these cooperatives are not effectively involved in fisheries and aquaculture management. Cluster industry is a new approach that has been introduced recently and applied in some region (e.g. Port Lincoln Aquaculture Cluster in Australia). Industry clusters are groups of competing, collaborating and interdependent businesses working in a common industry and concentrated in a geographic region.

In Iran, shrimps are cultured in single cohorts in a semi-intensive way. The post-larvae are transferred from hatcheries to the grow-out ponds from which they are harvested after five months, depending on the price, cost, and desired harvest weight. In 1994, approximately 1% of Iranian shrimp production was farmed; by 2009 this share had increased to 60%.

The aims of Iranian shrimp farming were compensating of the decline in shrimp fishery, earning foreign exchange, enhancing employment opportunities and income for poor coastal communities. Iranian shrimp farming areas had been concentrated in the northern Persian Gulf and Oman Sea. There are about 4300 ha of shrimp ponds in Iran and shrimp farms are located in Busher, Khuzistan, Hormozgan and Balochistan provinces. A few thousand hectares of land have been allocated for the establishment of shrimp ponds, and several hatcheries have been built to supply the post larvae from spawners caught from the north Oman Sea. In addition, Iran has 1800 Km of coastlines in the south, which are suitable for shrimp culture. Several issues are identified as limitations for sustainable development of shrimp aquaculture in Iran, namely, fry supply, feed limitation, production technology, processing and marketing distribution systems.

Another reason for the aquaculture industry adopting extensive production systems is the lack of access to capital. To intensify production, producers need access to additional capital to support increased level of input such as feed. Capital is also needed for the acquisition of equipment including aerators, pumps, and necessary inputs to improve the management and the control of the production operation. Moreover, the development of the aquaculture sector depends on the availability of capital. In support of sustainable development, aquaculture production technology should not only be technically feasible and economically viable, but also environmentally and socially acceptable.

Cluster Industry

The growing importance of the aquaculture sub-sector emphasizes the need for the sustainable development of the shrimp aquaculture sub-sector. Michael Porter proposed The Competitive Advantage of Nations in 1990 and brought about an upsurge of research on the diamond model. The four interlinked advanced factors for competitive advantage for countries or regions in Porter’s diamond framework are (1) factor conditions(the region’s position in terms of factors of production, such as skilled labor and infrastructure); (2) demand conditions ( the proportion of sophisticated customers in the home market); (3) firm strategy, structure and rivalry (conditions for organization of companies and the nature of domestic rivalry that impels firms to work for increases in productivity and innovation); and (4) related supporting industries.

* Shrimp aquaculture flow chart in Iran

The Porter-type cluster is important for industrial policy in many countries in North America, Europe, and Asia. The European Commission established a number of programs supporting research and development and set up several priorities for 2007–2013 to create and develop regional clusters. Other cases include Shanghai, Kunshan, Shenzhen, and Dongguan in China, Hsinchu in Taiwan, Milano in Italy, and Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

Clustering is the process of development of locally rooted value-creating systems. Clustering can happen because one value-creating system can impose itself already at the beginning of an industry life cycle or because most companies of an industry, except the members of the strongest cluster, go out of business over time. However, Porter suggested cluster has been criticized on the grounds that this clustering approach would not fit for those industries centered on raw materials and offers little insights for strictly domestic industries or those producing non-tradable goods. It becomes clear that not all industries are equally affected by the process of clustering.

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