Barramundi Asia produces 500 tonnes of barramundi on a yearly basis. (Photo: Barramundi Asia)
Aquaculture increasingly meeting demand
Tuesday, July 13, 2010, 18:00 (GMT + 9)
Singapore is getting help from its deep sea net cage farm to meet its supply needs. The country’s biggest commercial fish farm, Barramundi Asia, is showing tremendous success.
Located off Pulau Semakau, Barramundi saw its first harvest last October. It currently produces 500 tonnes of barramundi, or Asian sea bass, on a yearly basis.
"Fish farming in South-east Asia is mainly done in Indonesia and Malaysia,” commented Joep Kleine Staarman, managing director of Barramundi Asia, “but Singapore actually has very good water quality.”
“Having a fish farm so close to Singapore brings the fish very fresh to the market," he assured, Channel News Asia reports.
This location is also beneficial because Singapore is not a regular victim of natural disasters, such as typhoons or tsunamis, in contrast to some of the neighboring countries, CNA reports.
Moreover, Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) will help Barramundi Asia reach its goal of bolstering its output sixfold -- to 2,000 tonnes of fish -- by 2012 or 2013.
"Next year 2011, it'll be 1000. And we'll go on to 2012-13 to 2000 tonnes. And we want to grow to 3,000 tonnes," Staarman exclaimed.
Ultimately, Barramundi wants to provide more than 80 per cent of the fish eaten in Singapore. Efforts made to make the country’s food supply more sustainable include the 100-plus licensed floating fish farms now located in Singapore's coastal waters.
A selective breeding programme was launched here some five years ago, AVA Chief Executive Tan Poh Hong said.
"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," she said. "When you can grow faster, you can have better productivity."
Singapore currently acquires most of its fish for consumption from neighbouring countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia.
Barramundi Asia was established in 2007 and is the first large cage sea water fish farming company in Singapore. It is the first European Union (EU) certified fish farm in South East Asia.
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