Singapore Food Agency Enhances Fish Farming Infrastructure in Southern Waters

Jun 2024

The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) is exploring ways to enhance fish farming infrastructure in the southern waters, following the announcement that the Barramundi Group, the sole operator in the area, intends to cease operations there. Before new fish farms take over in the islands of Pulau Senang and Pulau Semakau, SFA is investigating the feasibility of allowing new farms to share facilities in these locations.

Barramundi Group, specializing in Asian sea bass farming, had open-water sea cages off Pulau Senang and Pulau Semakau, along with a land-based hatchery and nursery on Semakau. The company mentioned that operating costs in the southern waters are higher due to inadequate infrastructure, posing challenges in maintaining cost competitiveness and achieving long-term profitability. Consequently, it decided to focus its operations in Brunei.

SFA recently commissioned Singapore-based consultant DHI Water and Environment to conduct an environmental impact study of fish farming activities around Semakau and Senang islands. Upon completion, SFA plans to re-tender the sea spaces for farming, specifying allowable production levels for fish and fingerlings and setting limits for nutrient discharges to minimize environmental impact. The southern waters, with their fast currents and robust mangrove ecosystems, assist in rapidly dispersing nutrients and filtering water quality.

An SFA spokesperson highlighted that the environmental studies will provide science-based insights to support environmentally responsible aquaculture practices and bolster the long-term resilience of marine ecosystems. The agency is also gathering data to optimize site allocations for aquaculture farms and develop guidelines for environmental monitoring.

(Source: The Straits Times)

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