THE Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia (LKIM) has started a new mussel farm at Sungai Johor, near Tanjung Langsat, Johor Baru.
LKIM Johor director Intan Suhaila Othman said the new farm was able to produce about 100,000kg of mussels per year, once it has fully matured.
“The project is led by Johor Fishermen’s Association (Josfa), under the Johor Food Security Programme.
“The project was conducted in groups and involved 35 mussel fishermen from Kampung Perigi Acheh, Kampung Tanjung Langsat, Kampung Sungai Penderam, Kampung Sungai Latoh and Kong Kong Laut,” she said when contacted.
The new mussel farm will hopefully increase the income of fishermen in the villages, as well as encourage the production and supply of mussels in the country.
Intan Suhaila said it would help expand manufacturing and downstream industries that were based on mussels.
“We hope this move will create more job opportunities for the fishing community,” she added.
The new farm was completed in January and the first harvest is expected this month.
The current mussel farm, which started in 1993, is located in Sungai Masai with less than 500m of collector lines involving 20 mussel farm breeders.
Having grown since then, it is now managed by 2,000 farmers.
Meanwhile, Kampung Orang Asli Kuala Masai Fishermen’s Association chairman Kelah Lah said the association would be meeting with Johor Southern Fishermen Association to discuss the formation of a committee for the new farm.
“The mussel farm in Sungai Masai is led by Johor Southern Fishermen Association.
“We hope that we can also be part of the new farm in Sungai Johor.
“The new farm is the latest addition, and we hope that it will help local fishermen gain more income.
“Each harvesting cycle is about eight to nine months. This year, the harvest will be in October,” he said, adding that the main concern in harvesting mussels was the challenges faced during monsoon season.
About 200kg of mussels are harvested at the Sungai Masai farm daily, which are sold to nearby markets in Johor Baru.