Food Farms

Starting a Sea-based Fish Culture Farm

Useful resources to get started

If you are setting up a sea-based farm in Singapore, you may refer to:

Starting a Sea-based Farm: An Industry Guide – This guide will provide an overview of the regulatory requirements, procedures you will need to follow, information on the various documents, fees and timelines involved, etc. This guide also introduces the government agencies and departments overseeing the necessary permits should you wish to contact them to make specific enquiries. Any feedback on ways to improve for the Industry Guide, please click on the FormSG link:


Presentation Materials for Workshop for Sea-based Farms on 27 Oct 2023

SFA, together with Agencies including MPA, URA, NParks, BCA, SCDF, PCG and SAFEF conducted a workshop to share information about starting a sea-based farm in Singapore. You may refer to the following presentation slides:

  1. SFA presentation: here
  2. MPA presentation: here 
  3. URA presentation: here
  4. NParks presentation: here
  5. BCA presentation: here
  6. SCDF presentation: here
  7. PCG presentation: here
  8. SAFEF presentation: here

Step 1: Submission of Farm Plan

Once you have secured a sea space lease for your farm, engage a Naval Architect (for closed-containment farm system) or a Qualified Person (for net-cage farm type) to prepare and submit a farm plan to SFA for endorsement via email to SFA Landsales (SFA) SFA will assess and process submissions within 2 weeks from the complete submission of required documents. The submission should include the following documents:

  • Authorisation letter by farm owner1
  • Justification for proposed works
  • Site Plan
  • Section Plans
  • Elevation Plans
  • Floor Plan (for buildings or sheltered structures)
  • Roof Plan (for buildings or sheltered structures)
  • Process flows of people, vessels, fish culture and waste
  • Schedule for proposed works

1 : To appoint the Naval Architect or Qualified Person to represent the farm owner to seek clearances from relevant agencies

Thereafter, seek the clearance from the relevant agencies. Please refer to Starting a Sea-based Farm: An Industry Guide for details on the relevant agencies to be consulted. Please check your submission carefully. If there are subsequent amendments to the farm plan, you will need to appoint a Naval Architect or Qualified Person to submit the revised plans for clearance with the relevant agencies.


Step 2: Obtain a Licence for Fish Culture Farm

All sea-based fish culture farms must be licensed by SFA and the licence is renewable annually. From 1 Dec 2022, you must secure a lease for the sea space that are to be used for farming, before a licence can be obtained. The licence fee is $145 per annum.

Permitted Activities on a Sea-based Fish Culture Farm

As it is important that the limited sea space allocated for sea-based farming is optimised for sustainable production of food, only farming activities are permitted. Farms are not allowed to host non-farming activities, such as commercial tours and fishing trips.

Licensing Conditions

Please refer to the respective attachments below for the Licensing Conditions for:

To obtain a Fish Culture Farm Licence

a. Upon endorsement of the farm plan in Step 1, SFA will contact applicants by email within 5 working days to submit a farming proposal.

b. SFA will inform the applicant on the issuance of an In-Principle Approval (IPA) within 2 months from the submission of a complete farming proposal.

c. SFA will inform applicants who received SFA’s In-Principle Approval (IPA) for the licence application via email.  Applicants are to apply for a pre-licensing inspection at the farm, within 10 months from the IPA. Supporting documents should be submitted together with the application. These include:

  • Updated version of the ACRA business profile, licensing information, layout plan, process flows, farming proposal
  • Approvals from:
    • BCA – for Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) or Certificate of Statutory Completion (CSC), where applicable
    • MPA – for Class Society certification, certification of mooring systems and licensing of supporting vessels, where applicable
    • NEA – for pollution control

d. After the pre-licensing inspection, SFA will email applicants on the outcome of the licence application and issuance of the Fish Culture Farm Licence, if the application is successful.

Step 3: Register all individuals to be employed or who will be engaged in any activity on the Fish Culture Farm

All individuals employed or engaged in any activity on a fish culture farm must to be registered with SFA.

To do so, please submit an application here. Click here for detailed information on the submission of the application.

Step 4: Apply for a Fishing Vessel Licence for Servicing of Fish Culture Farm

All fishing vessels servicing the fish culture farm must be licensed. The licence is renewable annually. The fee payable is S$66 per annum.

To apply for a Licence for Fishing Vessel, please submit an application here. Click here for detailed information on the application for a Licence for Fishing Vessel. SFA will contact applicants by email within 3 working days from the date of submission, to follow up on the application.

The list of SFA-licensed fishing vessels can be found here.

Updating of Licensee/Company information or Changes in UEN

You must update SFA of any changes in your company’s particulars (company address, contact numbers, company name).

For changes in Business Entity / UEN number / location of licensed premises, a NEW licence application is required.