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AVA seeks ideas to develop a more sustainable sea-based farming system

SINGAPORE — The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) is asking for fish farms and related companies to come forward to propose their ideas to develop better farm systems to withstand against adverse environment conditions.

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SINGAPORE — The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) is asking for fish farms and related companies to come forward to propose their ideas to develop better farm systems to withstand against adverse environment conditions.

Speaking at the opening of Lorong Halus Jetty today (July 24), Minister of State for National Development and Defence Dr Mohamad Maliki Osman said the AVA has received S$1.25 million from the Co-Innovation Partnership (or CI Partnership) to develop a “more sustainable sea-based farming system”.

“The CI Partnership encourages companies to co-develop innovative solutions with the Government,” said Dr Maliki. “With this funding, AVA will work with the fish farms and related companies to develop a closed containment aquaculture system”.

The system, Dr Maliki said, can help fish farms “mitigate against adverse environmental conditions”. The AVA is requesting for proposals at the end of next month.

Dr Maliki also said the AVA is extending help given to fish farmers in the wake of the massive fish deaths in February. The mass deaths are said to have been caused by a plankton bloom — brought on by hot weather or the neap tide — which can drain seawater of oxygen.

A neap tide is when the difference between high and low tides is at its lowest, leading to poor water exchange.

The AVA has devised an assistance package that co-founds 70 per cent of the cost of restocking the fish farms with fry, and 70 per cent of the purchase of equipment to deal with similar incidents in the future.

Dr Maliki revealed that almost all of the affected farms have taken up the package and more than 90 per cent are in the process of restocking their farms. The AVA’s funding support which was originally schedule to end next month will be extended till December as some fish farmers have requested for more time to purchase fry and equipment.

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