Fish deaths: Duo turn to online crowdsourcing for help

Fish farming might seem unattractive to most young people, but in the case of 26-year-olds Wong Jing Kai and Bryan Ang, their youth has been a plus.

Last April, the two friends from national service went into partnership with Mr Teh Aik Hua, 60, who owns Ah Hua Kelong.

The farm rears golden pomfret, seabass and pearl groupers, along with mussels and crabs.

The recent plankton bloom wiped out 80 per cent of their entire stock at their farm just five minutes away from Lorong Halus on the north-east coast near Pasir Ris.

The remaining 20 per cent was saved after being moved to their farm in Sembawang.

But they still needed help.

So, the Internet-savvy new partners turned to online crowdsourcing and raised over US$12,000 (S$16,500) through the Indiegogo website.

The money, they said, was needed to help them cover their operating costs. "We are thankful to those who have supported us, it would have been much tougher without them," said Mr Wong.

They also plan to downsize the Pasir Ris farm and expand their Sembawang farm, which was unaffected by the bloom.

They estimate it will take them at least nine months to get their business back on track and, even then, they may never be able to recover everything. However, they remain optimistic.

They believe their business model which includes delivering the produce straight to households - a plan which the two new partners came up with - is one that will work. Said Mr Ang: "Seafood is something that most Singaporeans really like."