Malaysia could become major player in Asia Pacific aquaculture
17 April 2006

MALAYSIA has the potential to become a major player in the aquaculture industry in Asia Pacific, surpassing players such as Taiwan, if more companies enter the sector, Business Times has reported.

At the moment, Taiwan is one of the biggest aquaculture players, commanding a bulk of the live fish market in the region.

Borneo Aqua Harvest Bhd managing director Datuk Lo Fui Ming said, currently, not many companies in Malaysia have sufficient technology to breed, hatch and rear fish, especially marine species, for the export market.

"The market for marine fishes, especially in Asia, is huge and companies have the chance to tap into these markets given that they have the expertise and technology to breed marine fish," he reportedly told Business Times.

Apart from government support, another advantage is the quality of waters, which are full of microbes, and the environment, which protects the waters from open threats such as typhoons and big waves.

"Waters around Sandakan, Sabah, for instance are protected by a big bay and surrounded by a number of islands which are suitable for breeding fish," Lo said, adding that the temperature of the water also plays an important role in ensuring the survival of fish.

Sabah-based Borneo Aqua is involved in breeding, hatching and rearing of high commercial value marine fish. It uses marine biotechnologies in its production process from broodstock management to spawning, hatching, and larvae and fry rearing.

The firm currently has about 30 broodstock and breeds, including the expensive grouper and snapper for sale in places such as Hong Kong and China.

Due to the overwhelming demand for quality live fish from Hong Kong and China, Borneo Aqua has increased its capacity to handle mass production of high commercial value fish fry and adult fish.

Borneo Aqua is also looking closely at South Korea and Japan. It exports about 45 per cent of its products to Hong Kong and China, and expects new markets in Japan and South Korea to boost export sales to 75 per cent by end-2006. is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish FISHupdate magazine, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.