13 March 2015
Can Singapore really attain more self-sufficiency in fish supplies? The recent plankton bloom causing massive fish deaths in local farms suggests a need to rethink and refocus the strategy.
Singapore aims to be partly self-sufficient in three food items as part of an overall strategy to safeguard food security – 30 per cent for egg, 15 per cent for fish and 10 per cent for vegetable supplies. Producing food locally has the additional benefit of mitigating climate change through reduced food miles.
Unlike egg and vegetable production – where layers are kept in shelters and vegetables are grown under controlled conditions – fish farms are highly dependent on water and environmental conditions. If it wants to be self-sufficient for 15 per cent of fish supply, Singapore needs a more sustained effort to make fish farms less subject to environmental damage. This calls for changes in fish farming techniques, and substantial investments in capital – both financial and technological.
…The writers are researchers at the Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. An earlier version appeared in The Straits Times on 10 March 2015.
NTS Centre / Online
Last updated on 23/11/2015