Fruitful prawn farming venture second time round

Hii checks the prawns at one of the ponds.

SIBU: Prawn farm operator Hii Hieng Ing’s venture into prawn farming in Selumit near Belawai proved to be fruitful the second time round.

He started the business in 1998 at Paloh but stopped in 2010 due to the low price of prawns.

“I started again in 2014 when I saw good opportunity in this business. Using my savings, I started the farm at Selumit and have 10 ponds with tiger prawns and white prawns (vannamei),” he said when met at his farm recently.

Hii, 57, said that he received assistance from the Marine Fisheries Department in the form of tiger prawn and vannamei larvae, and has spent nearly RM1 million to build the facilities at the farm.

“One of the ponds is about 5,000 square metres and it can accommodate 150,000 tiger prawns.

“The pond of the same size can accommodate 450,000 vannamei because this species can live in a dense envrionment,” he explained.

He said he can get 4,500kg from all the ponds each harvest. Tiger prawn which sells for about RM30 per kilogramme takes six months to be ready for harvest, with each weighing between 30 and 40gm, while Vannamei only takes about three months.

Hii disclosed that he buys prawn feed from Thailand and sells prawns from his farm to a factory in Sarikei.

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