The Straits Times
Published on Jan 28, 2013

Singapore crabs for chilli crab? New research project looks at locally farmed crab


Singapore already has 'SG Fish' or locally farmed fish that Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan championed in January last month. If a research project goes smoothly, 'SG Crab' might become a reality as well.

Researchers at Temasek Polytechnic (TP) have started a two-year project to improve the survival rate of young mud crabs, whose adults go into what many consider to be Singapore's national dish - chilli crab.

Their aim: To make their survival rate sustainable enough that they could be farmed here to supply local seafood restaurants. The research will focus on optimising conditions for mud crab larvae survival, by removing nitrates - a product of their waste that accumulates in the water.

They intend to do this by introducing phytoplankton, or single-celled plants, into the water which absorb the nitrates as nutrients. Without phytoplankton to maintain water quality, the water would have to be regularly changed.