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Large scale fish farming expected to ease import reliance

05 October 2007

SINGAPORE - This week, Singapore welcomed the first batch of seabass that was developed by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) and then grown commercially.

AVA said large-scale farming of tropical food fish in Singapore and regional waters is now commercially viable, and it hoped Singaporeans can soon expect a constant fish supply at stable prices.

The young of the fish had been hatched using special aquaculture technology, developed by the AVA's Marine Aquaculture Centre. The fry were then sold to Marine Harvest, a commercial fish farm that operates in waters off Riau Islands.

When fully matured, the harvested seabass are expected to help ease Singapore's reliance on wild-caught fish from overseas.

"We hope to maintain a ready supply… through our efforts, there'll be a ready supply of affordable, safe, wholesome fish for our markets," said Lim Huan Sein, head of AVA’s Marine Aquaculture Centre.

It is estimated that Singaporeans consume about 1,500 tonnes of seabass each month. Last year, 76,052 tonnes of fresh fish, mainly from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, came through AVA's Jurong Fishery Port and Senoko Fishery Port.

AVA expected to harvest between 50 and 100 tonnes of the fish through this pilot project, and it also hoped to work with other fish farms on similar projects. Its partner Marine Harvest said this is the first time it is supplying directly to the Singapore market.

"The idea is basically that we will focus on the production cost as opposed to selling it at a very high price. The idea is to make it reasonable," said Eric Tan, managing director of Marine Harvest.

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Source: Channel NewsAsia


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