The Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, through the Directorate General of Aquaculture of Indonesia, signed an agreement last month with the Norwegian government and a private Norwegian mariculture enterprise to develop a mariculture industry of Asian sea bass or barramundi (Lates calcarifer) in offshore floating cages in Aceh (Sumatra), West Java, Sulawesi, and Papua provinces in Indonesia.
The mariculture scenario will be based on Norway’s successful salmon industry. The offshore cage culture areas, however, will be only about 1 to 3 kilometers from the beach line using round cages with a diameter of 10 to 30 meters and a depth of 4 to 6 meters with full extruded slow-sinking (slinking) pellet feeds with initial production target of around 15,000 tons per year.
There are currently only four big barramundi aquaculture companies in Indonesia: PT. Indomarind (Batam, near Singapore); PT. Lucky Samudra (Seribu Islands, Jakarta Bay); PT. Phillips Seafoods Indonesia; and PT. Bali Barramundi (both are in North Bali) with an estimated production of less than 1,500 tons per year. A long-established barramundi aquaculture company of PT. Fega Mariculture (Seribu Islands, Jakarta Bay) recently collapsed in early 2016 and another newly-built large barramundi aquaculture company PT. Paramount Barramundi (North Bali) was terminated before it started last year due to insufficient cash flow.
While the market for filleted barramundi has been confirmed, more technical considerations have been raised to strengthen the industry, as Indonesia’s aquaculture industry is weak in the following areas. First, the genetics and selective breeding of the brooders in hatcheries need to supply premium seeds. Second, fish health (vaccination) is a must during the culture period (16 to 24 months to reach 1.8 to 2.2 kg fillet size) (currently vaccination is a “luxury” procedure in Indonesia’s aquaculture industry) and the last is to provide the industry with premium feeds (with premium ingredients) with the correct feeding method.