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ready markets at harvestable sizes. The main bulk of foodfish production comes from
coastal farming in floating netcages a...
transportation tanks to be shipped to designated markets and sold live. Fishes generally
ranges from 600 – 800 grams as pe...
alleviate the pressure on wild seed stock. Good quality brooders are selected, maintained
and bred to produce quality fry,...
-   Chou, L.M., Chan, W.T., 2002. Industrial Development in the Coastal Area in
    Singapore and the Management...
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C:\Documents And Settings\User\Desktop\Asean Traning\Vietnam Paper Mar A

  1. 1. SINGAPORE COUNTRY PAPER AGRI-FOOD & VETERINARY AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE VINCENT ONG CURRENT SITUATION & EMERGING ISSUES OF AQUACULTURE PRODUCTION Introduction Singapore is a small country state (land area of 710 km2) with a demographic profile of almost 5 million in population (Singapore Statistics, 2010a). The waters surrounding Singapore covers an approximate of 10 km 2 and much is being used as shipping channels. As the population increases, the demand for foodstuff rises, with the country consuming an estimate of 548 kg per capita in 2008 (Singapore Statistics, 2010b). With limited natural resources and land space for farming, Singapore depends heavily on importation of foodstuff from neighboring countries for fresh produce (Tey et al.) As the country progresses, the government began phasing out terrestrial farming in the early 1980s to free up more land space for housing development in response to the growing population. As Singapore embarked on development in its industrial capacity (Chou and Chan, 2002), the aquaculture scene was seen to be viable in contributing to the food supply and resilience to the nation’s well being without compromising valuable land space. 1. Overview of aquaculture production and quality control of the country Singapore, with its limited land and sea area, has a small but strategically important foodfish aquaculture industry, currently producing about 5% of the estimated 100,000 tonnes of fish consumed annually with potential for rapid growth in the near future. In the early days, marine fish farming was done by catching juvenile fishes and stocking them into makeshift netpens for growout on trashfish. Gradually, farming was shifted to high-valued species and traditional catch-and-culture method was soon replaced by purchase orders of intended species fingerlings for grow-out to be sold for
  2. 2. ready markets at harvestable sizes. The main bulk of foodfish production comes from coastal farming in floating netcages along East and West Johor Straits with a total of 106 marine fish farms covering 85.5 hectares of sea space. In 2008, these coastal farms produced a total of 3,235 tonnes, of which 52% was finfish and 48% shellfish. The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) is the national authority for aquaculture development for Singapore and manages aquaculture farm through the issuance of farm licenses. For marine foodfish farms, the farm licensee has to abide by good farm management guidelines to maintain the farm in good condition and ensure that the farm does not engage in activities that would pollute the farm waters. For land-based farms, there are also guidelines that address infrastructure layout, farming system and water treatment facilities. The latter requires that sedimentation ponds, reservoir ponds/tanks, supply and drainage systems, trade effluent treatment and sampling plant are included in the farm set-up. 2. Typical fisheries species produced and quality control technology Land-based foodfish farms which occupy an area of 16.1ha in total, account for 282.3 tons of freshwater foodfish, valued at S$1.66 million. Main species cultured include the giant snakehead (Channa micropeltes) and tilapia (Oreochromis spp.). Other species include marble goby (Oxyeleotris mamorata), bighead carp (Aristichthys nobilis) and catfish (Clarias batrochus). Marine fish farming in Singapore is mainly confined to, the East and West Johor Straits. Common marine foodfish species cultured include Seabass (Lates calcarifer), groupers (Epinephelus spp.), snappers (Lutjanus spp.), milkfish (Chanos chanos) and mullet (Mugil spp.). Green mussel (Perna viridis) is farmed mainly along the West Johor Straits that forms the bulk of shellfish production in Singapore. 3. Fisheries processing and packaging technologies Post-harvest technology encompasses areas of harvest, handling, slaughter, processing, packaging, manufacturing, storage, transport, distribution and display, through to the point of sale or the time of consumption. In Singapore, harvesting of live aquaculture stocks is generally done by harvesting and loading into boats with
  3. 3. transportation tanks to be shipped to designated markets and sold live. Fishes generally ranges from 600 – 800 grams as per market demand. Although live seafood fetches a premium price, the market for vacuum-sealed chilled or frozen fishes also plays a considerable part in the economics. Seafood products such as; surimi, fish ball, chikuwa sticks and otah goes through seasoning which in turn vacuum packed for freshness and easy storage. More labour intensive packaging involving live products, example; cockles are washed, deshelled and packed into a clear plastic bag to be chilled and sold to buyers. 4. Marketing issues The markets for most aquaculture products are influenced by supply and demand conditions in their industry and changes in these. For products of aquaculture business that are price-takers instead of price-makers, the standard economic analysis of purely competitive market is relevant (Lucas and Southgate, 2003). The quality demanded of an aquaculture product depends on many factors. Factors such as its price per unit, the income levels of buyers, price of substitutes, tastes, and so on, can all be expected to have an influence. 5. Constraints in aquaculture production and quality control Aquaculture, as with all other food production practices, is facing challenges for sustainable development. An example of Singapore’s contribution to sustainable aquaculture is through the development of technology for consistent and economical mass production of fish seeds under controlled conditions. This approach will alleviate the pressure on nature to provide the seeds for farming and would make available large numbers of quality fish for small and large-scale commercial aquaculture. AVA has established the Marine Aquaculture Centre (MAC) on St John’s Island to address the needs of aquaculture development for Singapore through fish reproduction and seed production technology development as well as large- scale fish farming technology development. At present, the fish reproduction technology research work involves the closing the reproductive cycles of key marine food fish species and also fry production at a commercial scale level. Closing the reproductive cycles will eliminate the reliance and
  4. 4. alleviate the pressure on wild seed stock. Good quality brooders are selected, maintained and bred to produce quality fry, which would indirectly translate to better growth performances and shorter culture period. This, together with good farm management practices, will optimize the usage of fish feeds during the culture cycle. The usage of vaccination for fish health management purpose is also looked into with the purpose to reduce the reliance on prophylactic drugs in the future. Antibiotics or chemicals if not administered properly for treatment may have negative consequences. One of them is drug residues in aquatic products, which in turn give food safety and heath risk concerns, others include adverse effects on the environment or may even build up resistance of pathogens and cause ecological upsets. 6. Recommendations for regional cooperation in development of aquaculture production and trade In the past, the focus of attention in aquaculture management had been on increasing yield by culture practices, with a view to short-term economic viability. With the current rate of depleting marine resources, there is an urgent need to develop aquaculture in a sustainable way. Current efforts and future developments such as implementation of surveillance programmes, personnel training, fish nutrition and feeding, fish health, the establishment of good aquaculture practices, monitoring of the fish farming environment, seawater re-use and information sharing will facilitate working towards the development of sustainable aquaculture in Singapore.
  5. 5. Reference - Chou, L.M., Chan, W.T., 2002. Industrial Development in the Coastal Area in Singapore and the Management of Marine Pollution pp 35-47 [IN] Industrial Development in Coastal Areas of South-East Asia. Workshop Proceedings. Hanoi, Vietnam, 25-27 June 2001. 184pp. Feoli, E. and Ghibri, M. (Eds); publ. United Nations Industrial Development Organization. - Lucas and Southgate, 2003. Aquaculture: Farming Aquatic Animals and Plants. Chap 12, pp 240. - Singapore Government, 2010a. Statistics Singapore, [Taken on 14 March 2010] From: - Singapore Government, 2010b. Statistics, Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore [Taken on 14 March 2010] From: - Tey, Y.S., Suryani, D., Emmy, F.A., Illisriyani,I., 2009. Food consumption and expenditures in Singapore: implications to Malaysia’s agricultural exports. International Food Research Journal 16, pp 119-126.