Wednesday, May 27

From seedlings to lobster breeding hub in Port Dickson

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The lobters farmed by Muhammad Hazizi. — Bernama photos

PORT DICKSON: It all began with 40 lobster seedlings in two water tanks, and now, the freshwater lobster farm belonging to pharmacist assistant, Muhammad Hazizi Ghazali, 25, is set to become a lobster breeding hub in Port Dickson.

Muhammad Hazizi said the lobster breeding hub project, a joint effort with the Port Dickson Fishermen’s Association (PNKPD) would be able to produce 10,000 one to three inches in size and 6,000 to 8,000 adult lobsters in a month with the cost of production estimated at RM100,000.

“I started with zero knowledge about lobsters. I bought two water tanks and placed them next to the house. For six months I learned how to farm, how to get the right pH, how to get the lobsters to breed until it could produce seedlings.

Muhammad Hazizi showing a lobster from his farm.

Of the 40 seedlings, more than half died.

“At the end of the experimental phase, in October 2018 I decided to run a lobster seed business with three of my friends who are Diploma of Pharmacy graduates with a capital of RM10,000. We built an aquarium for the seedlings, cement ponds and canvas ponds next to my house,” he told Bernama when met recently.

He said the high demand for the Red Claw-type lobster seedlings with pending orders prompted him to step up the business.-

“A bigger place is needed and I hope the farming hub to be built on the land next to my house will be able to meet the demands of existing customers, some coming from Pahang and Melaka,” he said.

He said he was able to produce about 3,000 seedlings and for every one inch of growth took about a month.

“A three-inch lobster can produce 150 to 200 seedlings, but only 80 per cent will survive depending on the quality of care including nutrition and water pH,” he said.

Muhammad Hazizi said depending on the size prices range from RM1 to RM5 a seedling.

“Usually an inch to an inch and a half is RM1 to RM1.50, while two to two and a half inches is RM2 to RM3 while for three inches it costs RM5. Usually the customer will buy 300 to 600 seedlings but for those who are new to lobster breeding I would suggest they take a package comprising a set of canvas pond with seedlings and five adult lobsters.

“We also do ‘Cash On Delivery’ but our minimum order is 200 to 300 seedlings and there is a COD charge. Restaurants usually charge over RM100 for a four-inch lobster meal,” he said. — Bernama

Muhammad Hazizi said because his breeding ground is an open concept, the livestock lobsters are exposed to dangers in the form of king shrimp, lizards, frogs and otters. He added, lobsters also eat each other especially during the moulting process so constant monitoring is vital.

Muhammad Hazizi, along with four of his friends known as the PD Lobster Group are farming lobster seedlings to supply fully grown lobsters to restaurants.

“We plan to start this April where the group will commercially breed the seedlings provided by me in their own farms. Once they are grown, they are handed back to me to sell to restaurants in the Port Dickson area,” he said. — Bernama