Channel NewsAsia

Government will take action against illegal dumping of waste by fish farms

Owners of offshore fish farms must properly dispose of the waste generated from their farms under Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore licensing conditions says Minister of State for National Development Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman.

SINGAPORE: Minister of State for the National Development Ministry Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman says the Government will take enforcement action against fish farms caught illegally dumping any waste into their waters. Nominated Member of Parliament Faizah Jamal had asked in Parliament on Tuesday (Aug 5) whether the ministry has an environment audit process of how offshore fish farms manage their daily disposal of trash, biological waste and human waste.

Dr Maliki said that under the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) fish farm licensing conditions, owners of offshore fish farms must properly dispose of the waste generated from their farms. The owners must also keep their premises in good condition and ensure that the waters in and around their farms are clean and pollution-free at all times.

Fish farmers in the western Johor Straits can use the waste collection points at the Lim Chu Kang jetty while those in the eastern Johor Straits can use the newly opened Lorong Halus jetty and its waste collection centre.

AVA carries out routine quarterly inspections on all fish farms, including those in the Southern and Western coastal areas to check for compliance with licensing conditions. Dr Maliki said: "AVA officers check on the types and amount of waste generated and disposed of, and their frequency of disposal, the use of proper waste disposal methods and the location of the waste collection point used by the farmers. AVA also conducts ad-hoc night raids on the fish farms to deter the illegal towing of fish farm waste to shore. AVA works closely with the police coast guards to keep a look out for fish farmers discarding waste into the sea and conducts regular briefings to remind fish farmers to maintain proper waste management."