Federal Minister for Science and Technology, Shibli Faraz, Thursday stressed the need of promoting Oceanography to explore and tap the vast potential of marine resources of the country. The federal minister, during the visit of National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) here, said that sea, coastal line and marine resources were a vital part of any vibrant economy and research in oceanography and relevant disciplines may contribute in governments efforts aimed at strengthening the national economy. Federal Secretary Ministry of Science and Technology, Nadeem Arshad Kayani was also accompanied by the federal minister. The federal minister noted that the blue economy possesses the potential to add billions into the gross domestic product of Pakistan and promotion of the education and research in the field of oceanography would assist in dealing with the dearth of human resources in the field. The minister further noted that lack of an effective and market oriented educational system with capability of producing required human resources in oceanography was the major impediment in this regard. He called for initiating higher education programmes in the field by establishment of dedicated departments in universities so that masses particularly the youth could be sensitized of the importance of Oceanography and could be equipped with state of the art education and training. Futuristic and judicious utilization of marine resources required immediate measures by all stakeholders so that Pakistan could exploit its potential at the fullest besides protecting its valuable marine resources, the minister said. He also stressed the need of transferring benefits of oceanographic research to common people, specifically investors and directed the Director General NIO to explore the possibilities of making the institute more vibrant and enhancing its visibility at national and international level. Federal government was eyeing the promotion and development of Aquaculture in the country as enhancement in sea food exports could contribute to further increase the foreign exchange reserves of the country, Shibli said and instructed to expand and expedite research and development activities pertaining to marine life in collaboration with the provincial governments. Earlier, Director General NIO, Dr Samina Kidwae, briefed the meeting about performance of the institute and different research projects conducted. She informed that NIO has conducted multi-disciplinary research in physical, chemical, biological and geological oceanography besides undertaking various oceanographic surveys including monitoring the coastal intrusion, seal level rise, land subsidence, assessment of tidal energy. The federal minister, later, visited different laboratories and sections of the institute as well.