PUSAT KAJIAN SAMUDERA & PANTAI -- Universiti Sains Malaysia

Oyster, sauce of new income

The state government is working with a university's marine research centre in setting to assist fishermen in setting up oyster hatcheries and tap into the lucrative aquaculture industry in Penang.

Penang is keen on tapping potentials in oyster farming to further boost the aquaculture industry, says state Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Committee chairman Dr Afif Bahardin.

He said oyster farming is yet to be deeply explored even though organisations such as Universiti Sains Malaysia's Centre for Marine and Coastal Studies (CEMACS) carries out breeding for research purposes.

"We want to promote the opening of oyster farms in Penang, Because at present the are mainly based in Sungai Merbok, Kedah," he told a press conference during a visits to CEMACS at Monkey Beach, Penang, recently.

Dr Afif said the state goverment would work closely with CEMACS to identify those who are abel to carry out oyster farming in Penang.

" This could be a way to generate extra income for the fishing community, and who knows, in future it could be their main source in Penang.

"It is also consider instead of merely relying on unpredictable amounts in fish catch to earn a living", he said.

" This industry should be fully tapped into as the current oyster supply is only able to fulfil about 14% of llocal demand, while the other 86% of oysters are imported to meet the demand"' he added.

Dr Afif was speking to reporters on his visit to CEMACS, where he also viewed other research projects including the breeding of horseshoe crabs, sea grass, sea cucumberrs and cockles.

CEMACS director Prof Dtao' Dr Aileen Tan said green aquaculture, such as oyster breeding, is ahighly sustainable business as oysters do not need feeding.

"Oysters feed in pankton that grow in natural water, so the farmers do not have to feed them. "

"Oysters also help fikter the water the breed in, leading tp cleaner surroundings and preserving the cleanliness of the water.

"As such, we encourage businessman, including those from the fishing villages, to consider venturing in this lucrative industry.

"We at CEMACS, are willing to provide assistance in setting up oyster hatchery as well as observing proper breeding proper breeding and farming techniques," she added.

CEMACS marine biologist Prof Dr Zulfigar Yasin said anyone with enough funds can join the industry upon receiving necessary training.

"We will guide them with relevant oyters breeding and hatching techniques, as well as advise them on the right species to be bred in areas with different levels of water salinity.

"Oysters farms need to be operated at places where the water from the upstream is not contaminated with palm oil as oysters can easily absorb the effluent from palm oil discharges," he said, adding that such oysters could be harmful to people when eaten.

  • Hits: 1541

Centre For Marine & Coastal Studies (CEMACS),
Universiti Sains Malaysia.
Tel : 604-653 6903  |  Emel : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.