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Aquaculture


May 3, 2019

Brunei, Singapore to produce sustainable sea bass

 
 
Singapore signed yesterday a multi-million dollar contract with Brunei Darussalam to set up a world-class hatchery and nursery for the production of juvenile barramundi (Asian sea bass) in the country for supply to offshore fish cages, Borneo Bulletin reported.


Two agreements were signed by the Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism with Barramundi Asia (B) Sdn Bhd as part of the contract: the Sea Licence Agreement and Land Lease Agreement.


"As the global population grows rapidly from seven to nine billion, between now and 2030, we found out that (the need for) good animal protein will also be there. Sea bass is primarily for the Southeast Asian market," member of the board of directors of Barramundi Asia Andrew Kwan said.


The fish is called jin mu lu in Chinese or ikan siakap in Malay.


Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Haji Apong, High Commissioner of the Republic of Singapore to Brunei Darussalam Lim Hong Huai, Chief Executive Officer of Singapore Food Agency Lim Kok Thai, and officials from the Ministry of Finance and Economy and DARe (Darussalam Enterprise) were some key representatives present at the signing ceremony.


Under the contract, Barramundi Asia is granted licences to initiate their intention to develop a 66.13-square-kilometre area at the Nankivell Offshore Aquaculture Site and a 0.251-square-kilometere site located at Kampong Meragang.


The company will be investing BND18 million (~USD13 million) for phase one of the project, and will be adopting advanced technologies and sustainable aquaculture husbandry and farming practices employed in Europe.


At the conclusion of phase one, the project is expected to produce 4,000 tonnes of barramundi by 2024.


The farm will gradually increase its production to 36,000 tonnes by 2032, worth over BND324 million, once the company is running at maximum operational capacity.


"The agreement is a long-term investment and commitment made by Barramundi Asia for at least 30 years, with the possibility of another 30 years of extension. We will be producing fish about four kilogrammes in size to the domestic and overseas markets," Andrew Kwan said.


Kwan added, "The sea currents here in Brunei (are conducive to culturing sea bass), so too is the cleanliness of the waters, which provides good conditions for the fish to grow. (The country's tropical waters are also good for rearing) barramundi. Good current flow is also needed for optimum oxygenation, which is good for the fish."

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