September 25, 2003



Malaysia's New Rules For Fish Farming


Malaysia has announced it would set up new regulations to boost the country's fish farming industry, while ensuring long-term stability.


Malaysian Agriculture Minister Datuk Effendi Norwawi said earlier this week that this was in accordance with the government's aim a 60 percent self sufficiency in seafood under the Eighth Malaysia Plan.

The minister highlighted the importance of sustainability, pointing to illegal fish farms which do not practise proper farming methods, such as the indiscriminate disposal of waste water.  "We want to give the sector a boost but at the same time ensure development within the vicinity will not jeopardise aquaculture's sustainability," he said.


Malaysia's aquaculture sector is expected to contribute RM150 million annually, with revenue from fish production forecast at RM10 billion a year by 2010. So far, the government has identified 442,000 hectares as Aquaculture Industrial Zones that can produce 790,000 tonnes of fish a year, with more such areas being sought. "The aquaculture sector is fast gaining momentum with an increase of tonnage of harvest every year," said Datuk Norwawi

Meanwhile however, laws and regulations governing the operation of aquaculture plants remain inadequate. Also, random permits given by state governments for new fish farms have compounded this problem.