Deep sea fish farming going well for Singapore
Deep sea farming is helping Singapore meet its supply needs. And the republic's clean and sheltered waters are apparently a factor for the success of Barramundi Asia, Singapore's biggest commercial fish farm.
Located off Pulau Semakau, the farm about a half-an-hour's boat ride from the city, enjoyed its first harvest last October.
It now produces 500 tonnes of barramundi, also known as Asian sea bass, a year.
Mr Joep Kleine Staarman, managing director of Barramundi Asia, said: "Fish farming in South-east Asia is mainly done in Indonesia and Malaysia. But Singapore actually has very good water quality. Having a fish farm so close to Singapore brings the fish very fresh to the market."
And with help from Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority or AVA, Barramundi Asia aims to boost its output to 2,000 tonnes of fish by 2012 or 2013.
Ultimately it aims to provide more than 80 per cent of the fish consumed here, and efforts in that direction include the 100-plus licensed floating fish farms in Singapore's coastal waters.
AVA chief executive Tan Poh Heng said a selective breeding programme was started here about five years ago. "We look for the best breeds, the blue stocks, and these are able to grow much faster by 15 per cent, even up to 30 per cent," he said, adding: "When you can grow faster, you can have better productivity."
Currently, Singapore gets most of its fish from neighbouring countries like Malaysia and Indonesia.