Food Farming

Marine Aquaculture Centre

Located at St John's Island, the Marine Aquaculture Centre (MAC) was set up to develop and harness technology to facilitate the development and expansion of large-scale hatchery and opens in a new windowfish farming production in Singapore and the region.

Aims of MAC

Aims Description
Promoting reliable supply of variety of tropical food fish -
Establishing benchmarks on price and quality of fish in our market -
Help stabilise Singapore's fish supply Reducing dependency on food fish caught from the sea as there is no long term sustainability
To culture fish using quality and healthy fry These fry can be grow to market size using good sand safe farming practices such as the minimal use of antibiotics and other drugs.

Research & Development

MAC carries out research and development in tropical marine aquaculture. Their programmes focus on these areas:

  • fish reproduction
  • large-scale hatchery
  • fish farming technology development

To support these activities, MAC also carries out R&D in these related areas:

  • fish nutrition and feeding
  • fish health
  • establishing good aquaculture practices
  • monitoring fish farming environment
  • seawater re-use

To enable better quality fish in terms of a faster growth rate and disease resistance, MAC future breeding programmes will focus on selective breeding. This type of breeding programme will facilitate marine aquaculture development and expansion in Singapore and regionally.

The short supply of cultured fry is one of the bottlenecks in enabling aquaculture development. Thus MAC's work aims to promote a long-term and sustainable supply of a wide variety of tropical food fish at affordable prices for consumers in Singapore. MAC also seeks to promote large-scale deep netcage fish farming of tropical food fish species.

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Large-Scale Hatchery Technology

MAC is carrying out R&D in these areas to develop large-scale hatchery technology:

Culture systems and operations for large-scale commercial production of fry at all the hatchery stages:

  • spawning
  • egg collection and hatching
  • live larval feed production
  • larviculture
  • weaning
  • nursery
  • Seawater re-use technology
  • Developing optimal hatchery conditions and good hatchery practices
  • Live fish transportation methods
  • Hatchery fish health, feed and nutritional requirements
  • New or novel species - to study the potential of high-value fish species for hatchery technology development

MAC also carries out research and development for these other hatchery-related technologies:

Type Of Technology Description
Fish reproduction technology To close the reproductive cycles of key marine food fish species
Live fish larval food production To improve the nutritional quality of live larval food, develop and improve culture technique for common live food micro-organisms such as algae and rotifers, and to identify other alternative live food
Inert larval feed supplements To develop formulated larval feeds that can supplement or replace expensive live larval food
Selective breeding To improve brooder fish quality
Fish biotechnology and other upstream molecular applications Genetic selection to facilitate fish breeding, development of fish vaccines and diagnostic kits.

Large-Scale Deep Netcage Farming Technology

MAC also promotes large-scale deep netcage fish farming of tropical food fish species:

  • asian seabass (Lates calcarifer)
  • trevallys (Caranx spp)
  • cobia or black kingfish (Rachycentron canadum)
  • snappers (Lutjanus spp)
  • pompano (Trachinotus blochii)

MAC aims to maximise production rates, develop feeding strategies and optimise feed utilization for effective production of these tropical marine food fish.

Complex Mooring System in Deep Netcage Fish Farm

A deep netcage fish farm has a complex mooring system that is anchored to the sea bed. This mooring system can withstand the swift currents found in open waters.

Heavy duty high density polyethylene (HDPE) floating collars of 12.5 metres or more in diameter, and smaller squares are fitted into the grids of the mooring system. Cage nets with a depth of 6 to more than 8 metres are secured to these frames. The deep cages allow stocking of more fish per square metre compared to the more traditional shallow coastal cages.

Skilled workers operate the deep netcage fish farm. These farms also have automatic fish feeding and counting, and mechanized harvesting.

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