Four local fish farms recognised for going above and beyond to produce quality fish

Workers scooping up pompano at the 1.5-hectare Rong-Yao Fisheries on 30 Oct 2014. Four local fish farms have received the first-ever Good Aquaculture Practice for Fish Farming certification by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA). -- ST
Workers scooping up pompano at the 1.5-hectare Rong-Yao Fisheries on 30 Oct 2014. Four local fish farms have received the first-ever Good Aquaculture Practice for Fish Farming certification by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA). -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - Four local fish farms have received the first-ever Good Aquaculture Practice for Fish Farming certification by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA).

The certification costs $600 for the first year and $300 for each yearly renewal, and is for farms that have gone above and beyond basic practices to produce safe and good quality fish. Two of the farms belong to Marine Life Aquaculture and one each to Barramundi Asia and Rong-Yao Fisheries.

At the Rong-Yao Fisheries farm off Pulau Ubin, workers test the water quality in the fish culture cages twice a day to monitor its dissolved oxygen, acidity, temperature and other parameters. They also track the amount and type of feed given to each group of fish, and the fishes' growth rate.

All these and other data is collated in daily spreadsheets that allow the farm to optimise its production, for example by using the ideal feed based on the data analysis. The farm produced 100 tonnes of fish last year including pompano, sea bass, red snapper and groupers, and have expanded the farm to reach 150 tonnes next year.

The AVA said the fish farm certification follows similar certification schemes introduced previously for vegetables and eggs. "The (certification) logo is a mark of quality, and we hope consumers will continue to support the local farming industry by buying local produce," said a spokesman.

Rong-Yao Fisheries business development manager Alawn Koh, 37, said the practices that helped the farm get the certification have also led to the fish growing bigger and faster. "It's not so much about installing technology, but more about having processes that let you do better, where other people might rely on 'gut feelings'," he said.