Sabah aims to become Malaysia's biggest aquaculture producer by 2010
Sabah has the potential to become Malaysia's largest producer of aquaculture products by 2010, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Yahya Hussin.
Yahya, who is also the state Agriculture and Food Industry Minister, said this was based on the forecast on the output of aquaculture products by the Department of Fisheries Malaysia of 207,200 tonnes valued at MYR 2.5 billion for the period.
Yahya said by 2010 Sabah is expected to produce 33,000 tonnes of seawater prawns worth MYR 1.06 billion, marine fish (30,700 tonnes; MYR 1.23 billion), freshwater fish (12,700 tonnes; MYR 125 million), cockles (6,000 tonnes; MYR 28 million) and seaweed (125,000 tonnes; MYR 24 million).
The targets set by the department are expected to make the state the biggest producer of aquaculture products by 2010.
The state, with vast areas that are suitable for aquaculture, has the potential to become the centre for aquaculture and this potential has been recognised by the department, Yahya said at the launch of state Aquaculture Licensing Programme on Thursday (Nov 27, 2008).
Yahya said based on the study by the Fisheries Department, 491,359 hectares in the country were suitable for aquaculture, of which 182,260 hectares, or 37 percent, were in Sabah. He said the state fisheries department would formulate various policies and strategic plans to achieve the targets.
One of the plans is to set up 63,342 hectares of aquaculture industrial zone, which would include the cultivation of prawns, fish and mollusc among others, he said.
US$1 = MYR 3.623 (Nov 28)