November 22, 2019
Singapore's new offshore aquaculture facility produces 20 times more fish than coastal facilities
Called Eco-Ark, the new 4 million SGD (~US$2.9 million; 1 SGD = US$0.73) farm uses an Aquaculture Centre of Excellence (ACE) closed containment aquaculture system, reported Channel News Asia.
The 48m by 28m facility anchored 5km off Changi Point ferry terminal was opened by Dr. Koh Poh Koon, Singapore Senior of Minister of State for Trade and Industry and expected to operate at full capacity in three months.
Eco-Ark aims to produce 166 tonnes of fish annually, comprising species such as barramundi, red snapper and grouper. The fish are raised in four tanks, 475,000 litres capacity each.
Dr. Koh said coastal aquaculture farms use an open net cage farming system. This exposes the farms to environmental threats such as plankton blooms, oil spills, waste discharge and warmer waters from climate change, affecting marine biodiversity.
He said the Eco-Ark addresses these problems using its Novel Offshore Advanced Hull system - combining offshore and marine technology with a recirculating aquaculture system to filter and treat seawater, kill bacteria and germs as well as reduce susceptibility to outside conditions. Once the water passes through the four fish tanks, a second filtration system will clean the water of fish waste and feed before returning the water to the sea.
The system was developed with support from the Singapore Food Agency's Agriculture Productivity Fund, which channels funding to farms that utilise and develop new technologies and systems.
Dr. Koh said the Eco-Ark only requires 1,400 sq/m of sea-space and two employees to produce 166 tonnes of fish – only 14% of what conventional coastal fish farms need.
Leow Ban Tat, CEO of ACE said he aims to open an Eco-Ark in every country, with immediate plans to open one Eco Ark with eight tanks, and another with 10 tanks equipped.
- Channel News Asia