BRUNEI DARUSSALAM: Singaporean fish farming firm Barramundi Asia plans to invest BND 300 million (USD 223.8 million) to rear barramundi, or Asian sea bass, in large cages in Brunei’s open seas, with technology that has been adopted in Norway for salmon farming.
The firm has signed a deal with the Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) of Brunei formalising their intention to invest and develop an area of 6,613 hectares at Nankivell Offshore Aquaculture Site, establish a hatchery and a fish nursery capable of supplying high-quality sea bass juveniles to offshore fish cages, as well as establish a processing plant.
Acting Director of Fisheries Mariani binti Haji Sabtu signed the MoU on behalf of the Department of Fisheries, while Barramundi Asia was represented by its General Manager Eva Lim.
The firm’s Managing Director Joep Staarman explained that for the land-based operation, the company would be allocated an area of 21 hectares located at Sungai Mangsalut in Kampong Tanah Jambu the construction of the high-technology offshore fish farm, including a hatchery and a fish nursery.
The ministry stressed that the establishment of a hatchery and nursery in Brunei Darussalam will ensure supply of fish for the offshore cages and help reduce the risk of disease importation through the imports of fish fry or fingerlings.
“Brunei welcomes investment from Singapore to increase fish production by introducing latest technology in the offshore cage farming as well as providing employment opportunities and other spin-offs businesses for the locals,” the ministry added.
Staarman said the company will start importing disease-free juveniles from Australia that will take three years to grow to four kilogrammes.
The output of the farm will be mostly exported.