May 24, 2023


Sarawak, Malaysia plans to designate Bakun Dam as Aquaculture Industrial Zone




The Department of Agriculture in Sarawak state, Malaysia, has unveiled its plan to designate Bakun Dam in Belaga as an Aquaculture Industrial Zone (AIZ) by 2024, aiming to enhance fish and shrimp production in the region, The Borneo Post reported.


Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, the Food Industry, Commodity, and Regional Development Minister, said that the estimated production potential of the dam is expected to reach 40,000 metric tonnes with an annual value of MYR 500 million.


Rundi Utom said that his ministry will continue to identify suitable coastal areas to establish additional Aquaculture Parks. This expansion aims to meet both domestic and international demand for fish and shrimp products.


He said that the development of AIZs and Aquaculture Parks plays a crucial role in promoting sustainable growth within the aquaculture industry and significantly contributes to Sarawak's economic progress.


The Sarawak government has already gazetted four areas as AIZs, namely the Batang Ai Dam in Lubok Antu, Loba Stoh Rambungan in Kuching, Sundar Awat-Awat in Lawas, and Selalang in Sarikei. These locations are dedicated to the production of high-value freshwater and brackish-water fish and shrimp products.


With its extensive water bodies, Sarawak has the potential to become a regional hub for fish and shrimp production, Minister Rundi Utom said.


The ministry is also planning to establish indigenous fish belts, namely the Empurau and Tapah Belt in Kapit Division and Bintulu Division, respectively.


To support this initiative, the Department of Agriculture Sarawak is upgrading the facilities at the Inland Fisheries Holding Station in Song, Kapit. The domestication and development of indigenous fish species, including Empurau, Semah, Labang, and Tengadak from Katibas and Balleh, will be carried out at this facility, now known as the Kapit Indigenous Fish Hatchery Centre.

Two satellite stations in Kapit Division, namely the Merirai and Engkuah Agriculture Station, will be developed as inland fisheries stations focused on high-impact indigenous fish aquaculture and conservation.


-      The Borneo Post

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