Marine Aquaculture Centre

Marine Aquaculture Centre

SFA’s Marine Aquaculture Centre (MAC), located on St John's Island in the open southern waters of Singapore was established in 2003 to deepen Singapore’s expertise in the areas of aquaculture genetics, nutrition and health. The Centre has a footprint of about 1.8 ha and there are a total of 14 blocks, including purpose-built research facilities, incubation modules and other auxiliary facilities like seawater intake pump house.


MAC Official Photo

(Above) Marine Aquaculture Centre

Watch MAC Corporate Video here

Research & Development

MAC carries out research and development in tropical aquaculture through partnerships and collaboration with the industry. Their programmes focus on these areas:

  • Asian Seabass

    Since its setup, MAC has focused on genetics and brood stock development. Through its partnership with Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory (TLL) on Asian seabass selective breeding programme, genetically superior Asian seabass lines that are able to produce seabass fry that grow at least 30% faster than unselected seabass fry have been developed. The breeding programme with TLL utilises aquaculture genomic tools for more accurate selection of superior individuals without the use of genetic modification.

    Broodstock picture

    (Above) Asian seabass brood stock at MAC

  • Large-scale fry production technology

MAC also undertakes R&D in large-scale hatchery production technology to ensure the long-term sustainable supply of marine fish fry. To date, MAC has successfully transformed hatchery production from an extensive outdoor pond system which requires large footprint and is vulnerable to weather changes to an intensive indoor closed-loop production system which allows large-scale production on a smaller footprint, enables the control of diseases and minimises waste discharges. This has led to 10x improvement in Asian seabass fry survival and 100x intensification over the prevalent outdoor pond system. Hatchery protocols for other key marine fish species such as snapper, pompano and grouper have also been developed. Indoor hatchery production has since been adopted by our local hatcheries & nurseries.


(Above) Transformation of hatchery technology


(Above) Application of Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) in hatchery production

  • Aquaculture Feed Nutrition

SFA has established a new aquaculture nutrition facility at MAC which consists of a pilot aquaculture feed mill and tank systems that researchers can tap on for their R&D efforts to deepen our expertise in aquaculture nutrition.

Aquaculture nutrition R&D involves optimizing of fish feeds for locally farmed species to promote healthy growth while being formulated with ingredients from sustainable sources.

(Above) Producing extruded feeds from the pilot aquaculture feed mill 


SFA’s Marine Aquaculture Centre (MAC) on St John’s Island provides technical advisory to help local farms adopt sustainable farming practices and technology. It also hosts practical workshops and mentorship for interns from polytechnics and universities, as well as learning journeys for schools. More details on learning journeys to MAC is as follows:

  • Virtual sessions are available on every last Friday of the month.
  • Physical sessions can be arranged for up to a total of 20 pax, only for students studying aquaculture and/or teachers teaching aquaculture/fish biology related topics.
  • Both sessions are to be held between 2pm and 4pm.

To request for a Learning Journey to MAC, please fill up this form.

Go on a MAC Virtual Learning Journey here

Research Ecosystem at MAC

Growing SG’s aquaculture research ecosystem

MAC welcomes Research Institutes, Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) and aqua-tech companies to conduct collaborative R&D projects by contributing our expertise in the areas of fish husbandry such as breeding and live feed and hatchery production.

There are shared facilities such as replicated tank systems for research and incubator spaces for test-bedding and commercialization of R&D results.

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(Above) Purpose-built aquaculture R&D facilities

MAC also makes available key biological materials such as eggs, larvae, rotifers and microalgae for aquaculture research. In addition we also provide feed production services for IHLs and commercial companies for research purposes.

MAC resources png 

(Above) Resources available at MAC

These inputs of husbandry-related expertise, shared facilities and ease of access to biological materials will enable researchers in Singapore to conduct aquaculture R&D and to facilitate the translation.

Please feel free to contact us to enquire about the tank systems or biological materials.