Fresh golden pomfret. (Photo: Stock File)
Golden pomfret now produced locally
Monday, December 05, 2011, 04:40 (GMT + 9)
Fish farms in Singapore want to produce 15 per cent of the pompano or golden pomfret destined for local consumption.
Thanks to measures taken by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) to boost productivity, the percentage of locally raised fish has jumped from 4.5 per cent in 2009 to 7 per cent today.
As Singapore imports its fry from Taiwan or China to breed to maturity in a local fish farm, production is being subjected to seasonal influences in those source countries, CNA reports.
The AVA has thus come up with a programme that aims to helping local farms spawn their own fry.
"When it comes to the winter months, there is no fry production due to unfavourable conditions up there. So with AVA's assistance, we are then able to assure a consistent supply," noted Alawn Koh, business development manager at Rong-Yao Fisheries.
After intensive research into correct diet and spawning methods of fish, AVA successfully bred its first batch of fry at Rong-Yao Fisheries last July. The eggs from the brooding stock are harvested and transported to a hatchery on another island, where the fingerlings are allowed to grow to 1.5-2 in before being taken back to the aquaculture farm to be raised for another four to five months before being harvested and sold to retailers.
The first batch of locally bred golden pomfret is expected to arrive at stores in May 2012.
Tan Poh Hong, CEO of the AVA, attributed the success to her team's research and development work, Strait Times reports.
The AVA hopes that local production of the golden pomfret will climb from 20 tonnes in 2011 to 80-100 tonnes or 350,000 golden pomfrets next year.
Rong Yao's Koh thinks locally produced golden pomfret fry will have better quality.
"Fry that come in from China and Taiwan...it is a long flight, by the time they reach here, there may be some effect (on quality),” he explained. “With local fry production, the distances are shorter, we are able to monitor, we are able to assure the quality with AVA's assistance.....we are definitely hoping for better survival rates."
Wee Joo Yong, assistant director of aquaculture technology at the AVA, pointed out that if there is a supply disruption from external sources, consumers in Singapore will be able to depend on local production.
To buttress the venture, a new branding campaign has been launched to distinguish locally farmed fish from imported varieties.
"Local fishes which are grown here, they will be fresher,” said Seah Kian Peng, CEO of NTUC FairPrice. “Price is a consideration, no doubt, but we have to start somewhere. I think if we want prices to come down, (consumers have to) buy more of them."
By Natalia Real