Fascination with fish paying off for entrepreneur

YC Aquaculture Sdn Bhd owner, Yap Hock Lim holding a 'garouper' , one of three types of fish with red snapper and siakap which he supplies to the local restaurant from his fish farm, off Pulau Jerajak on 15/09/14.

THOSE who travel along the Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah Bridge will not miss the sight of nets, wooden stilts, makeshift tents and trawlers off Pulau Jerejak.

However, not many know that the site is actually one of the largest fish farms in Penang.

Sitting on four acres of sea land, YC Aquaculture Sdn Bhd produces one-third of the supply of fish such as grouper, red snapper and seabass to major restaurants in the state.

The fish farm, which was set up by Yap Lim Hock, 30, has grown into a lucrative business entity over the last five years.

“I started fish rearing as a hobby back in school. I had a small pond with freshwater fish and I would rush back from school every day to look at the fish.

“I wasn’t interested in academic subjects back then, but anything about fish would always fascinate me.

“I left school after Form Five and started looking for a job at a small fish farm,” said Yap when met at his farm.

A few years later, he applied for a licence to start a farm of his own at the present location six years ago.

“In the beginning, I had only 25 ponds with about a thousand small fish in each pond. Slowly, my business grew and now it’s quite a profitable venture,” said Yap.

Today, the farm has 600 ponds. Each square pond measuring 18ft has about 1,500 fish in it.

“The three main types of fish in demand are the grouper, red snapper and seabass.

“We have several types of grouper, each with a different price.

“During the Chinese New Year, my sales can hit six figures because some restaurant owners from Hong Kong also buy from me,” said Yap.

The farm has 25 Myanmar workers who are given the task of feeding, weighing and sending the supply to the restaurants.

Yap said he has about 40 dogs including four Dobermans to guard his farm from any intruders.

“My dogs are good at walking on the wooden stilts and even if they fall, they can swim and climb back onto the stilts.

“Usually, I will be at my farm in the morning and leave for my restaurant in Thean Teik, Air Itam, in the evening,” he said.

“I have invested substantially in the business. My next plan is to increase the number of restaurants both on the island and the mainland,” said Yap.

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