Apart from the agriculture sector, economic activities related to the fisheries sector including fishing, aquaculture and seafood processing are also given attention by the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) to spur the country’s economic growth. The gross output of the fisheries sector in 2020 was BND139.1 million, an increase of 39 per cent from 2019. The aquaculture and seafood processing industry contributed significantly to the increase in the gross output.
The fisheries sector continued to record a positive growth last year, with the total output value up to June 2021 standing at BND85.4 million, an increase of 43 per cent compared to the same period in 2020.
Meanwhile, the fishing industry in 2020 recorded a total of BND73.59 million gross product value. The figure slightly decreased by 0.7 per cent compared to the previous year due to some major commercial fishing vessels not being able to operate during the pandemic. Statistics from 2021 showed an increase of 39.6 per cent compared to the same period of 2020, which is from BND35.7 million to BND49.9 million.
The aquaculture industry has great potential for development, more so with the country having over 18,000 hectares of offshore area that can be explored.
In order to increase the fishing industry output, local and foreign investors are encouraged to explore the commercial fishing industry’s activities using high technology. The Fisheries Department also offers an assistance scheme to increase the number of small-scale fishermen, providing basic necessities and meeting the security requirements of the Maritime and Port Authority of Brunei Darussalam (MPABD).
In 2020, the gross product value of the aquaculture industry recorded a total of BND32.4 million. This included output from the shrimp farming industry, sea fish, freshwater fish, crabs, shrimp seed products and fish seed products, with shrimp farming as the main contributor at 81 per cent. The gross output value of the aquaculture industry increased significantly by 204 per cent, from BND10.6 million in 2019 to BND32.4 million in 2020.
The output until June 2021 also showed a significant increase – 78 per cent – compared to the same period of 2020, from BND10.9 million to BND19.4 million.
Golden Corporation Sdn Bhd is one of the companies that has contributed to the aquaculture industry’s growth in the past years. From 2019 to 2020, the company’s shrimp production from the Sungai Penyatang shrimp pond farm increased from BND1.7 million (192mt) to BND20 million (2,462mt).
Overall, Golden Corporation’s shrimp production accounted for 86 per cent of livestock industry shrimp total output in 2020, and as much as 69 per cent of the aquaculture industry total output.
The aquaculture industry has great potential for development, more so with the country having over 18,000 hectares of offshore area that can be explored. Brunei also has the latest technologies such as vertical farming and recirculating aquaculture system that can be used in addition to shrimp farming in ponds and fish farming in cages.
In order to further boost the aquaculture industry output, several initiatives have been implemented such as providing basic facilities for new industry sites, upgrading facilities of existing industrial sites and introducing new species of shrimp in addition to breeding existing shrimp species. The MPRT has also implemented training programmes, seminars and other related programmes such as the Selective Breeding Programme and the Certification of the Implementation of Good Aquaculture Practices (GAP).
As of 2021, several new enterprise activities in aquaculture commenced through the involvement of foreign direct investment. One example is Syarikat Barramundi Asia (B) Sdn Bhd from Singapore which uses Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) technology at the fish hatchery facility in Serasa.
Meanwhile, joint venture company Blue Ocean Tech Sdn Bhd from China has started hatchery, nursery and breeding operations for rostris shrimp specifically for the China market.
In 2020, the value of gross output for the seafood processing industry was BND33.1 million, an increase of 114.4 per cent compared to the previous year. The industry’s output value up to June 2021 was BND16 million, compared to last year’s output for the same period at BND13.1 million.
In an effort to increase the industry’s output, several initiatives have been implemented such as developing the site and operation of a processing plant at the Serasa fisheries industry site and modernisation of the Muara Fish Landing Complex.
Small and medium entrepreneurs are also trained to produce safe and high-quality fishbased products. Furthermore, several joint venture companies have been established in the fish processing sector as an industry downstream to the aquaculture and fishing sectors, one of which is Yamako Pacific (B) Sdn Bhd. The company processes tuna products, such as tuna ball, tuna bites, saku, tuna loin and katsuobushi which are exported to Japan.
To increase the output of processing products and exports especially to China, MPRT signed a protocol with the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) on July 19, 2021. Through this protocol, the first export of frozen vannamei shrimp products amounting to 32 metric tonnes was successfully implemented in September. The signing of the protocol is hoped to open more companies operating in the aquaculture industry to market the export market network for aquaculture products to China.
Copyright 2019 Borneo Bulletin Yearbook 2019 All rights reserved.