Launch of Marine Fish Farmers Association of Malaysia to Guide Members towards Sustainable Practices
On May 8th 2012 at Putrajaya
To introduce aquaculture best practices towards the sustainable development of the marine aquaculture industry, the Marine Fish Farmers Association of Malaysia (MFFAM) was launched in Putrajaya on May 8th 2012.
In July 2010, the Coral Triangle Global Initiative provided financial and technical support to WWF-Malaysia to initiate a programme to promote more sustainable aquaculture. This programme sought to reduce the harvesting of wild stocks of juvenile groupers for grow-out, encourage investment in full-cycle hatchery technology, increase the acceptance of compound feed as opposed to trash fish and minimize environmental and other impacts of aquaculture production though uptake of Best Aquaculture Practices.
At the time, farming techniques employed by local fish farmers were found to be negatively impacting the marine environment i.e. declining water quality and the proliferation of disease. Implementing improved aquaculture practices along the supply chain would enable continued supply of marine fish to export markets such as Hong Kong and China.
A key milestone in achieving these objectives was establishing a stakeholder forum comprising marine fish farmers, which would foster dialogue and agreement as well as facilitate the development of pilot projects to demonstrate the benefits of adopting improved practices, including full cycle grouper aquaculture.
Through WWF-Malaysia’s Peninsular Malaysia Seas Programme , and with the support of Malaysia’s Department of Fisheries (DoF), 3 meetings of fish farmers were convened in the states of Johor, Selangor, Kedah and Penang, which account for almost 75% of Malaysia’s farmed grouper production. The goal to build support for a national association of marine fish farmers was realized on 22nd November 2011, when the Marine Fish Farmers Association of Malaysia (MFFAM) was formally registered.
The objectives of the MFFAM are to advance knowledge on all aspects of sustainable aquaculture and related activities and to foster rational development and
and management of aquaculture and related activities. The MFFAM will be a core partner for WWF and the DoF in the collective efforts to reduce environmental impacts, adopt better farming practices and to improve productivity. In the short term, the MFFAM will work with WWF and the DoF to develop 2 pilot project sites.
The Director-General of Malaysia’s Department of Fisheries, Dato’ Ahamad Sabki Mahmood, who was present at the launch of the MFFAM, commended the effort and stated that the association’s activities would be in line with the government's effort to protect dwindling supplies of fish.
According to the DoF, demand for consumable fish will increase annually from 1.31 million metric tonnes (MT) to reach 1.59 MT by 2015. In 2010, the country’s aquaculture industry produced 373,156 MT of fish worth RM2.7 billion with an annual growth rate of 8.7%.
Marine fish contributed 32,694 MT to that amount (RM592 million), with an increase of 26.69% in production recorded in 2009 at 25,805 MT. Until 2010, a total of 2,445 local fish farmers were operating brackish/saltwater cages, covering an area of 198.8 thousand hectares.
For queries on the Peninsular Malaysia Seas Programme:
Peninsular Malaysia Seas Communications Officer
Tel: +603-78033772+603-78033772 ext 6433