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Mass fish deaths: AVA will help fish farmers build resilience, says Maliki

SINGAPORE—The Agri-food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) will be helping fish farmers to develop contingency plans to reduce future losses like those caused by the recent plankton bloom, such as by helping farmers develop “resilient systems”, said Minister of State (National Development) Mohamad Maliki Osman today (March 11) during the MND Committee of Supply debate.

Mass fish deaths: AVA will help fish farmers build resilience, says Maliki

The fishes at Mr Phillip Lim's fish farm at the Pasir Ris eastern fish farms have been completely wiped out. TODAY file photo

SINGAPORE—The Agri-food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) will be helping fish farmers to develop contingency plans to reduce future losses like those caused by the recent plankton bloom, such as by helping farmers develop “resilient systems”, said Minister of State (National Development) Mohamad Maliki Osman today (March 11) during the MND Committee of Supply debate.

In light of the recent plankton bloom that wiped out more than 600 tonnes of fish along the East and West Johor Straits, Dr Maliki told the House that AVA is working with agencies such as the National Environment Agency, NParks and PUB, and experts from research institutes, to better understand the relationship between plankton blooms and fish kills.

The authority has also commissioned projects to develop “close containment systems” that reduces the vulnerability of the fish stock to harmful water conditions.

Dr Maliki added that AVA will not impose the minimum production requirement on the affected farms, nor take action against them for not meeting the production requirement.

“We cannot prevent plankton blooms from recurring, but we can take steps to minimise their impact when they occur,” he added.

He added that AVA had advised fish farmers to harvest their fish early on Feb 16 and 17 as it detected elevated plankton levels, and farmers that heeded its advice before fish deaths peaked on Feb 27 adverted the worse.

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