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Development of aquaculture

on Balui Lake (Bakun Dam)

The Wargana Fish Farm has started in 2015 with 20 floating cages (6m x 6m x 3m) and a floating house implemented close to the shore at the opposite side of Wargana’s camp on Bakun Lake.

The first batch of fry (+/- 2g each) of Red tilapia was « imported » from Kuching (Borneo Tropical Fisheries hatchery) in March 2015 and stocked in a small mesh size net cage.


The feasibility study of the project was carried out by the HUDDA expert: Dr. Jérôme Lazard (« A Fisheries And Aquaculture Project For Bakun Lake », Wargana Consortium SDN BHD). Technical assistance for implementing the pilot fish farm and defining the culture practices as well as for providing the training of Wargana’s staff was provided through several consultancy missions (last one: May 2017).


The project was planned for a 2 years pilot phase in order to test several technical hypothesis and assess the economical feasibility of aquaculture activity on Bakun Lake. After this pilot period, Wargana plans the expansion of the pilot farm to a production potential of 1,000 t/year and the implementation of small scale farms for Orang Ulu population.

Moreover, during the second phase, a land based hatchery is planned to be implemented in the vicinity of Bakun for supplying the fry for the large-scale farm and the artisanal farms.


In March 2017, 66 cages are in operation with fish (nursery and grow-out) among a total of 96 spaces that are available for cage nets implementation.


The results from 2 years production on Wargana pilot fish farm show technical results that can be considered as satisfactory and that reach the level of fully operational commercial tilapia cage farms around the world.

The growth rate of the strain utilized in Bakun shows remarkable performances, even better than the one used in China (GIFT strain which is supposed to be among the best ones in the world) but in more intensive conditions (300 fish/m3 versus 20-40 fish/m3 in Bakun). The FCR is exactly the same and the survival rate is significantly higher.


The high level of heterogeneity in the sizes of tilapia at the end of the grow out cycle recorded in Bakun is absolutely conform to what is observed in other tilapia cage farms around the world.

For a given cycle duration, the lower the stocking density, the lower the total yield and the higher the average weight. Conversely, the higher the stocking density, the higher the total yield and the lower the average weight.


The production costs of Wargana fish farm have been calculated for both nursery and grow out phases.

These production costs allow that lessons learned from the project may benefit similar activities in the future.

These costs remain in the range of observed production costs in other farms operating in similar conditions.


The selling prices of Red tilapia vary significantly according to the destination of fish . The profit obtained by the Wargana farm can be considered as being in the upper range of those  observed in tilapia aquaculture in tropical countries.


Taking into account the satisfactory bio-technical performances as well as the high level of profitability recorded during the pilot phase of the Wargana fish farm in Bakun, the « large scale » phase can now be planned. Moreover and simultaneously, the implementation of small farms by indigenous people can start. Their training will take place on the pilot farm and some theoretical courses can be provided at the Wargana camp if necessary. Wargana, after contract agreement with fish farmers, can provide the fry, the feed and technical assistance and, if required by them, buy their production.

Sarawak - Malaisie
Sarawak - Malaisie
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