AVA lifts fish sales suspension for 2 out of 12 Singapore fish farms affected by oil spill

Canvas skirting prevents oil from getting in should an oil slick reach a fish farm.
Canvas skirting prevents oil from getting in should an oil slick reach a fish farm. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE -The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) on Friday (Jan 13) said it has lifted the suspension of sales for two out of 12 fish farms affected by an oil spill off a port in Johor, adding that the situation "has improved significantly".

The two farms, Tiberias Harvest and Singapore Aquaculture Technologies, have completed their cleanup operations and implemented measures to reduce the risk of oil incursion into their farms.

This includes putting up canvas skirting and closed containment systems.

Fish samples from the two farms have passed AVA's food safety tests, AVA said in a statement to the media on Friday.

However, one of the farms is still not authorised to sell crustaceans such as lobsters or crabs as food safety evaluation for these are still ongoing.

Ten other farms still have their sales of fish suspended.

Two container vessels had collided off Pasir Gudang port in Johor on Jan 3, with the resulting oil spill affecting coastal farms in Singapore and staining the north-eastern shoreline with black, tar-like substances.

AVA said much of the oil has been removed from coastal fish farms.

A few farms are still cleaning up stained farm structures and equipment and setting up measures to prevent residual oil from re-entering their farms, it said.

AVA has been visiting coastal fish farms in the East Johor Straits daily "to ascertain and mitigate the situation, including assisting with the cleanup efforts".

It will also be assisting fish farmers in their claims for the business losses as a result of the oil spill.