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Sabah eyes transformation in aquaculture

MALAYSIA - Rahim Ismail wants the aquaculture development in the State to undergo a complete transformation under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP) to become a sustainable and commercial sector.

Confident this can be achieved by increasing the expertise and productivity levels, he said this is important to explore the full potential in aquaculture.

"Sabah has the great advantage by having the biggest areas suitable and having potential for aquaculture development in the country," he said.

This is based on the study done by the Fisheries Department which showed about 37 per cent (182,260 hectares) of the approximately 491,359 hectares suitable for aquaculture development in the country are situated in Sabah.

Abdul Rahim said the State Government is currently in the process of gazetting about 63,342 hectares of the land and sea areas throughout Sabah into Aquaculture Industrial Zones.

The State Fisheries Department is also now looking into suitable areas for seaweed culturisation, including gazetting as Aquaculture Industrial Zone a few coral beds along the shoreline of Semporna, Kunak, Lahad Datu and Kudat.

All these areas, meant to be turned into Aquaculture Industrial Zones (seaweed), will be developed in sustainable ways with the active involvement of the private sector which will act as partner in the development process.

"The Government will provide various basic infrastructures in each of these proposed gazetted Aquaculture Industrial Zone, which will be divided into lots that will be rented out to investors at a rate to be fixed later," he said.

Optimistic that the production of aquaculture commodities especially seaweed can fulfil the demand of domestic and foreign markets, Abdul Rahim said presently the State's seaweed production is still not enough for the domestic market.

These are not only in the form of dried seaweed but also in the form of value-added products like Semi-Refine Carrageenan (SRC) and Refine Carrageenan (RC), until the volume of seaweed export can be increased to RM24 million by the year 2010, from the present RM7 million.

Source: Daily Express

the Fish Site Editor

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