ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Lobster project in Brunei
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the development of commercial lobster production in Brunei has been signed between the Brunei Ministry of Industry of Primary Resources (MIPR) and the U.S. firm, Darden Aquafarm.
According to a press statement from the department as reported by the Borneo Bulletin, the MoU is to explore the potential of producing lobster in Brunei Darussalam on a commercial scale. Signing on behalf of MIPR was Hajah Hasnah binte Ibrahim, the Director of Fisheries and while Darden was represented by its senior vice president Bill Herzig.
Darden AquaFarm is a subsidiary of Darden Inc located in Orlando, Fla., USA and is the largest chain of full service restaurants in the world with an annual sale of US$7.2 billion and employs about 180, 000 workers.
Through its subsidiaries, the company owns and manages more that 1,800 restaurants throughout the US, including the popular food chain restaurant Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52.
The press statement stated that the research and development cooperation between the Department of Fisheries and Darden AquaFarm would start with "a lobster stock assessment project in the waters of Brunei Darussalam to find out the amount and type of lobsters found in our waters".
"The outcome of the assessment will determine the direction of subsequent R&D projects for the middle and long term." The lobster R&D project is in line with the aspiration of the Department of Fisheries to make Brunei Darussalam the "Centre of Aquaculture Technology and R&D Hub" in the region.
The knowledge and expertise of local officers will be enhanced through active interactions and networking with world-renowned experts and scientists who have extensive expertise in lobster culture.
Lobster commands a very high price and market demand, and the culture of lobster commercially has high potential because of the assured market. The global market demand for lobster reaches 150,000 metric tonnes annually.
However, the demand has not been fully met and the majority of the lobster marketed comes from the wild. This creates an opportunity for the aquaculture industry to meet the global market demand.