SALCRA has been appointed by the State Government of Sarawak (GOS) as the implementing and lead Agency to undertake the Integrated Fish Cage Culture at Batang Ai Dam under EPP4 of the National Key Economic Areas (NKEA) programme.
The Batang Ai Integrated Fish Cage Culture Project (Batang Ai I-Cage Project) is a large-scale, technology-focused, sustainable and integrated freshwater aquaculture project. It aims to produce high value and quality fresh tilapia fish - bred, hatched, reared, processed and supplied to both local and international markets.
This is carried out as Malaysia has the capability to tap into global demand for aquaculture products. There is a strong demand from United States especially, premium fillet segment and increasing demand from European Union countries and Middle East for tilapia fish.
Batang Ai was chosen due to its huge surface area of 8,400 hectares with vast potential for ideal production of high quality fresh fish from its pristine environment. The project, expected to start in 2012 aims at producing five thousand metric tonne annually of high quality fish of red tilapia (Oreochromis sp.) and genetically improved farm tilapia (GIFT) upon full development in 2017.
It shall be carried in an integrated manner; both vertical and horizontal involving the establishment of related infrastructure, hatchery, feed mills, grow-outs, processing, research and development, logistics and marketing.
As such, it requires a huge amount of investment either from local or foreign sources to realize the whole project through joint venture, partnership or collaborative arrangements. The project shall subscribe to international production standard such as Global G.A.P and other related certifications from importing countries. The project also employs synergy farming approach, where small-scale fish farmers will be involved in the grow-out on a Buy-back Scheme.
This approach is expected to create new commercial fish farmers among the local population and would generate steady flow of good incomes. Ultimately, the implementation of the project would help the Government to achieve its goals of high-income economy.