The fisheries sector witnessed a decline in the production of blue shrimp by Golden Corporation Sdn Bhd in the last three years, due to diseases found in the species.
Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Haji Apong disclosed this in an interview with the Bulletin during a working visit to the Sungai Penyatang Shrimp Culture Site and the Water Supply Pump Station in Kampong Keramut, Tutong District yesterday.
He added, “Currently, the company is cleaning its breeding ponds to ensure that all of the diseases found in the blue shrimp can be controlled and monitored.”
In 2017, the local production of blue shrimp was 450 metric tonnes, but in 2018 and 2019, the figures kept dwindling to less than 100 metric tonnes by the end of February 2020.
“We hope that, by the end of this year, the production of blue shrimp will be higher than the previous record for 2017,” said Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali.
Additionally, as an alternative to the blue shrimp, the company is cultivating another species – the Vannamei (white shrimp), which is less vulnerable to disease.
“At the moment, a study is being conducted, to produce a newer and better brood stock of the blue shrimp. The study is taking place at an overseas research centre, and I hope that within a year or two, it will result in a better brood stock to enhance the production of blue shrimp,” said the minister.
“A massive harvest is also expected for the Vannamei, as the company is expanding its breeding ponds to more than 200 hectares to accommodate the production, as well as offering around 200 new employment opportunities, to support the development of local shrimp production.”