Our cosy farm at Sungei Tengah may be relatively small, but we are home to a variety of fish. In our 2.1 hectare space - that’s almost the size of four football fields - lies four fish species and two types of prawns:
Grouper (dragon tiger, giant, black)
Snapper (red, star)
Prawn (tiger, vannamei)
We didn’t randomly choose these species - lots of thought had been placed before we decided on them! Here’s a look at why we farm what we farm:
Reducing our carbon footprint
Sustainability has always been the name of the game at Atlas Aquaculture. So we decided to go for species that are available from local breeders. The shorter transportation distance helps us reduce the fuel consumed during the process, hence lowering our carbon footprint.
Our goal is to eventually start our very own hatchery programme, which would further reduce our carbon footprint from transportation. Until then, we are committed to reducing our miles by choosing locally-available species.
On top of that, we also seek to adopt more eco-friendly practices at the farm. For example, we harvest rainwater to be used in our day-to-day operations, and we’re also planning to convert our vehicles into electric ones.
Going for tropical species
Aside from considering our carbon footprint, we also realised it is important to choose tropical species, so that we can offer the best for our fish without using additional energy or resources.
The health and wellbeing of our fish is our top priority, hence it is crucial that they are kept in an optimal environment. However, some species require specific conditions such as extra cold water. While it is possible to offer those conditions using more electricity, we decided to avoid them in order to remain true to our commitment towards sustainability.
This limits the range of fish found at our farm, but the ones that we do have are given the best environment and care!
Being kind to the marine ecosystem
Fun fact: The dragon tiger grouper was developed after years of research, and it is significant in lessening the impact of the overfishing of wild groupers. The hybrid grouper, also known as the Sabah grouper, was first cross-bred by researchers from the Universiti Malaysia Sabah and various other institutions in 2007.
The dragon tiger grouper grows quickly and can be more resistant to diseases. We chose to farm this species as we hope it will reduce the demand for wild-caught groupers, and in turn help alleviate the problem of overfishing.
Similarly, wild prawns are commonly caught by trawling - a commercial fishing method that can be destructive to the marine environment. This method involves pulling a net across the seabed or sea to capture a large amount of seafood. Many untargeted marine species, such as corals or turtles, could be caught and killed in the process. While it is impossible to prevent all fisheries from trawling, we chose to sustainably farm prawns to provide an alternative to wild-caught prawns.
Choosing the types of fish we farm is just one of the ways we hope to balance aquaculture with environmental sustainability. Our goal is to grow healthy and wholesome fish with minimal carbon footprint on the environment. Find out more about how we fine-tune our farming practices as well as the cutting-edge water technology we use by joining our tours and programmes! These are open to the public and we have programmes suitable for everyone. Find out more!
Photo by Xhapters