SFA will be uplifting the aquaculture industry in the coming years through our Singapore Aquaculture Plan (SAP). Through the SAP, we will focus on productive and sustainable production and unlock the full potential of sea-based fish farming. Strategies include:
Unlocking and Optimising Sea Spaces for Aquaculture
As with land, our sea space faces competing uses, such as for maritime, aquaculture, infrastructure and utilities, industry, heritage, education and recreation. We therefore need to ensure that sea spaces allocated to aquaculture are utilised in an optimal way.
Unlike land-based farms, existing sea-based farms do not have leases that provide greater certainty on the use of their sea space and allow them to better plan and optimise their investments. To provide farmers assurance to make longer-term investments and ensure that the use of sea space is accounted for, Temporary Occupation Licences (TOL) will be introduced for existing sea-based farms from 1 January 2023.
For new sea spaces, tenders will progressively be launched in the Southern Waters and East Johor Straits from end-2022 on a 20 -year lease, with an option to extend another 10 years. The longer lease duration will provide farms with certainty on the tenure of sea spaces and facilitate long-term planning and investments.
Separately, SFA has reviewed the fish farm licence fees to ensure that it remains relevant and that compliance costs for the industry are minimised. From 1 January 2023, the annual licence fees for sea-based farms will be reduced.
More details of the upcoming TOL, tenders and reduced licence fees will be made available on our website (www.sfa.gov.sg) when ready.
Supporting and Enabling a Productive and Sustainable Aquaculture Sector
Eco-Ark, a local sea-based farm with a floating closed-containment aquaculture system that protects fish from adverse external environment and raises productivity in creating an optimal controlled environment for fish farming.
SFA has been studying various aspects of aquaculture production in coastal waters, with the aim of growing aquaculture production in a sustainable manner. In 2018, we commissioned a study which showed that a higher level of fish production can be supported sustainably in Singapore’s waters if appropriate management methods and farming practices are implemented.
Minister of State Desmond Tan with SFA staff on one of the many sea-based farm visits to understand their challenges and to encourage the adoption of technology and more sustainable practices.
We have been engaging the aquaculture industry on sea-based farming management methods and measures to facilitate the adoption of more sustainable practices in support of higher production. These include monitoring the impact of aquaculture activities, measures to prevent and control the spread of fish diseases, and the use of better feed. This will help sea-based fish farms enhance their business resilience by improving the yield and survival rate of their fish and ensuring that our surrounding waters are not degraded over time. In turn, we can improve the productivity and sustainability of our sea spaces. Farmers can tap on SFA’s Agri-Food Cluster Transformation Fund to upscale technology, innovate & test-bed and upgrade capability to grow more with less, sustainably.
Building a Tropical Aquaculture Hub Together
The transformation of our aquaculture industry has just begun. SFA will continue to work with farms to develop the potential of Singapore’s aquaculture industry. In tandem, demand from consumers is also key to sustaining a healthy and vibrant agri-food ecosystem. Buying local produce will directly support the operations of our farms and spur them to improve productivity to meet increased demand and adopt sustainable practices. This will, in turn, contribute to strengthening our food security. Consumers can identify local produce through the following badges on the packaging.
More about the SG Fresh Produce Badges can be found here
Stay tuned to our Facebook & Instagram pages and Food For Thought digital publication for updates as we continue to work closely with the industry to grow more with less, sustainably!
For now, read more about the industry and SFA’s efforts:
• Can we enjoy fresh & affordable locally farmed fish in S’pore for the next 20 years? Yes, with sustainable fish farming.
• S’pore waters are teeming with life & used for more purposes than you’d think.