SERIAN: The Sarawak Marine Fisheries Department has issued the Malaysian Good Agricultural Practices Scheme (MyGAP) certification to 28 aquaculture premises in the state.
Sarawak Marine Fisheries director Bohari Leng said those certified by MyGAP are four farms, 19 cage breeders, and five hatcheries.
“Certification will only be given to any company that applies and successfully practices the biosecurity aspect of Good Aquaculture Practice (GAqP) well.
“The certification issued by the Department of Fisheries Malaysia through the Fisheries Biosecurity Branch aims to help breeders in aquaculture compete in the larger market,” Bohari said on Tuesday when handing over MyGAP certification to Borneo Empurau Farm Sdn Bhd – the first Empurau hatchery in Sarawak to receive the certification.
He explained certification guarantees the quality and safety of products produced.
“This certification also takes into account the welfare of the company’s workers including their health, to ensure that their workers are free from diseases that can bring pollution to the fishery products,” he said.
To achieve certification, the basic principles of Fisheries Biosecurity must be achieved such as good, clean, and controlled management procedures; good fish seed and health monitoring system; as well as management of controlled chemical use.
“It also proves that the company’s products are able to penetrate the import and export markets of local and even international countries,” said Bohari.
He encouraged other companies to apply for MyGAP certification to ensure that their products meet the criteria of the export market, which expects high product quality assurance.
Critical controls and strict conditions on fishery products have been imposed by most importers such as the European Union (EU), Australia, and South Korea, he said.
“Through this certification, it can help ensure that the principles of biosecurity are achieved, especially in terms of management, livestock system, records, and tracking,” he said.
He added the Fisheries Department conducts regular inspections on any company awarded MyGAP certification to ensure they always comply with the guidelines set.
Borneo Empurau Farm and Resort Sdn Bhd owner Datuk Yong Fook Heng said the MyGAP certification is very important to enable products from the farm to be exported abroad and their quality recognised.
“If you want to export products overseas, you really need a MyGAP certificate. If we do not have this certificate, we will not be able to export our products to any place,” he said.
Yong said the farm and resort are expected to officially open in September but it would depend on the Covid-19 situation.
Equipped with 31 chalets, a restaurant serving empurau, and an 18-room longhouse, the agro-tourism project is at 90 per cent completion.
Once completed it will also have man-made waterfalls, horseback riding, mini zoo, mini water theme park, aquaponics centre, forest tracks, organic fruit and vegetable garden, and Borneo freshwater fish aquarium.
Apart from empurau, the park also breeds hybrid tilapia, goldfish, and prawns.