Aquaculture market in ASEAN is the second largest producer & exporter of seafood in the world

ASEAN is the second largest producer and exporter of seafood in the world. Aquaculture production in ASEAN is projected to grow to 23,167 kilo tonnes by 2025 from the current production of 17,842 kilo tonnes.

  • Definition / Scope
  • Market Overview
  • Top Market Opportunities
  • Market Drivers
  • Market Restraints
  • Industry Challenges
  • Technology Trends
  • Regulatory Trends
  • Other Key Market Trends
  • Market Size and Forecast
  • Market Outlook
  • Technology Roadmap
  • Distribution Chain Analysis
  • Competitive Landscape
  • Competitive Factors
  • Key Market Players
  • Strategic Conclusion
  • References
  • Appendix

Definition / Scope

Aquaculture also known as Aquafarming is the farming of fish, crustaceans, molluscs, aquatic plants, algae and other organisms. Aquaculture involves cultivation of both freshwater and saltwater organisms under controlled conditions.

Food and Agricultural Organization defines Aquaculture as the farming of aquatic organisms, by intervention in the rearing process to enhance production. Intervention in this case implies regular stocking, feeding, protection from predators, etc.

Aquaculture is currently the fastest growing food production systems globally. It remains a vibrant and important production sector for high-protein food. The combined result of the development of aquaculture worldwide and the expansion in global population is that the average annual per capita supply of food fish for human consumption has increased ten times in the past 2 decades.

ASEAN is the second largest producer and exporter of seafood in the world and contributes to 10 percent of the world’s volume of farmed fish, maintains 12 percent of the world aquaculture value (and 25 percent without China), employs millions of people, contributes up to 5 percent of countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar gross domestic product and supplies significant quantities of fish as food to a region that relies heavily on fish for food and protein.

Market Overview

  • In 2018, the 10 ASEAN countries together accounted for 18.3% (32.06 million tons) of world fish production (175.2 million tons)
  • Of the world’s top ten largest fish producers, four are from ASEAN – Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
  • Indonesia alone accounted for 6.4% of world output and Vietnam 3.8% in 2014 for fish production.

In 2014, the ASEAN region supplied 11.9 million tons of aquatic plants (41.8% of world output), with Indonesia alone producing 10.1 million tons of seaweed, almost equal to its total fish supply of 10.7 million tons.

Indonesia’s fishery sector will experience strong growth over 2015 – 2020 period, increasing production output from 10.5 million tons in 2015 to 11.5 million tons in 2020. Hence, both upstream and downstream supporting industries will stand to benefit from the industry’s growth. Indonesia’s Fish consumption per capita is estimated at 33.76 Kg/ Year.

This figure is similar to Fish consumption in Thailand and Vietnam in 2018 which are 29.04 Kg / Year and 35.24 Kg/Year respectively. In Indonesia it is estimated that as of 2018 shrimp contributes around USD 2.2 Billion in exports compared to around 1.5 Billion and 0.5 Billion for fish and seaweed exports respectively.

The Philippines is an archipelago that consists of 7,641 islands with a total land area of 301,000 km2. The total area of marine waters including EEZ is 2,200,000 km2 and the total length of its coastlines is 36,289 km. The country’s shelf and coral reef areas cover 18.46 million ha and 2.7 million ha, respectively.

The ASEAN region is an important aquaculture producer, with its members together producing around 14.7% (10.9 million tons) of the world total in 2014. Growth in aquaculture production in the region has been dramatic at an annual average of 14% from 2008 to 2013. Not all ASEAN region contribute to the high growth of the aquaculture sector.

Brunei, Laos and Singapore have almost no commercial aquaculture development capture fisheries in the ASEAN region increased their output at 2.8% per annum between 2000 and 2014. The region’s contribution to global fishery production has gradually increased from 5% in 1950 to 21.1% in 2014.

Indonesia was the second-largest fisheries producer (6.9% of world capture fisheries tonnage) after China in 2014. Indonesia is popular as an archipelago, an extensive group of islands, which boasts about 17,000 islands, a coastline of over 81,000 km, and around 26,606,000 hectares of potential area for aquaculture.

In 2016, of the total potential area for aquaculture available in Indonesia, the potential area for aquaculture in marine water accounted for 52.21%, fresh water accounts for 30.85%, and brackish water accounts for 16.94%.

Indonesia, Myanmar and Vietnam each increased its catch by more than 100 thousand tons in 2014 compared to 2013.

Vietnam has high biodiversity of tropical marine species with about 11,000 species. The country has a long coastline of 3,260 km and the waters abound with 2,038 species of marine fishes of which about 130 species have commercial value, and 30 species are regularly exploited by capture fisheries.

For centuries, the Mekong River Delta in the south and the Red River Delta in the north have been used for wild fishing as well as extensive fish farming. The Mekong River Delta, one of the most productive fishing zones, covers an area of about 40,000 km2.

In addition, there are about 4,200 km2 of rivers, lakes and other natural bodies of water located further inland, which swell to an additional 6,000 km2 during periods of seasonal flooding, making up 12 bays and lagoons with a total area of 1,160 km2.

Despite notable increases from capture fisheries, the ASEAN region’s share of aquaculture in total fish production has grown from 17% in 2000 to 35.5% in 2014, which implies that more than one-third of the current total production of food fish came from aquaculture

  • The share of five main fish species cultured in the ASEAN region by weight: catfish (22%), tilapia (17%), shrimp (14%), carp (12%) and milkfish (9%)
  • Catfish output has increased rapidly predominantly because of Vietnam, the top pangasius producer in the world. Vietnam’s output has increased more than 12-fold since 2000. accounting for 45.8% of regional catfish production in 2014
  • Farmed shrimp constitutes the highest value of all cultured species. In 2014, shrimp accounted for 31.9% of the total value of all aquaculture output.
  • Catfish value has risen 18-fold since 2000, versus a 12-fold increase in quantity. Similarly, within the same period, tilapia has shown a 7-fold increment in value.
  • Of a diverse set of landings, mollusks, tuna, mackerel and shrimp accounted for a large portion of capture volume (22.9%) in 2014.

Market Risks


The wastes such as faeces are released into the water in addition to the wasted fish feeds can cause pollution and harms bottom-dwelling marine life and the excess nutrients can cause harmful algal blooms. Organic waste is not the only problem, the Antibiotics and pesticides fed to the fish and anti-fouling paints used in the netpen releases harmful substances into the surrounding water.

Parasites and Diseases

With high densities of fish, diseases and parasites are often problems. The diseases can threaten the growth of wild population of salmon as encountered with the outbreak of infectious salmon anaemia. Sea lice, a marine parasite are another significant problem as an infestation can both lower the value of the harvested fish and harm wild juvenile salmon migrating from the river to the ocean.

Top Market Opportunities

Catfish Farming

Most catfish production occurs in earthen ponds, typically 5 to 10 acres in size, with relatively small numbers produced in cages and raceways. Most catfish are raised in multiple-batch production. Small catfish (fingerlings) are typically stocked each spring and market-sized fish removed periodically by seining.

The most commonly cultured species is the channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus, although a hybrid between the channel catfish and the blue catfish, Ictalurus furcatus, is growing in popularity. Channel catfish are a warmwater species with an optimal temperature for growth of 85°F (29°C).

In the wild, catfish are omnivores, feeding on a wide variety of animal and plant materials. In culture ponds, fish are fed a complete diet, typically composed of soybean meal and other seed or grain products, with only a small amount of animal protein.

Integrated fish culture in paddy fields

Integrated fish culture in paddy fields is the process of growing fish in rice (paddy) fields by using the same farm area without impacting rice quality and yield. While rice is being produced as the primary crop and fish production is the secondary crop. This helps in improving the soil fertility, minimizing the use of pesticides, etc. while adding an extra source of income.

Organic aquaculture

Organic Aquaculture is the farming of marine species in line with organic principles. The main aim is to establish sustainable marine environments with consideration for naturally occurring ecosystems, use of pesticides and treatment of aquatic life. The demand for organic shrimp, organic salmon, and organic trout is driven globally. Export-oriented fish producers in India can tap into this segment to meet the ever-growing demand from health-conscious customers.

Market Drivers

Increasing awareness about various health benefits of seafood and its rising consumption

The industry has been witnessing steady growth in per capita consumption amid growing awareness on seafood as an important and cost effective source of protein (accounting for ~17% of the animal protein consumed). Additionally, seafood contains certain critical micro nutrients (vitamins, zinc, iron, iodine, etc) that are instrumental in optimal neuro development and improved cardiovascular activity among other health benefits, which have been backed by extensive research. Therefore, we expect changing consumer preferences towards seafood as a credible animal protein source.

Increasing Demand for cultured varieties

Shortage of naturally available varieties due to extensive fishing is expected to fuel the market demand for cultured varieties. extensive fishing in ASEAN is concentrated on the fishing of cultured varieties such as Anchovy, Barramundi, Billfish, Carp, Catfish, Cod, Eel and Flatfish.

Favourable Farming Traits

The Favourable farming traits such as efficient feed converters, requirement of less energy for body support, efficient use of space, variable culture environment are fuelling the growth of the market.

Use of new technologies

R&D in aquaculture is continuously leading to improvements in the aquaculture production system, resulting in increased production efficiency, higher product quality for consumers, and more sustainable industry.

Recent developments such as genetic improvement in finfish, controlling of fish reproduction, manipulation of chromosomes set in shellfish, and controlling of parasitic diseases in fishes boost the ASEAN aquaculture market. Advancement in technology for off-shore and open ocean aquaculture is furthermore expected to supplement the growth.

Market Restraints

Impact of Climate Change

Impact of climate change, such as sea level and temperature rise, change in monsoon rain patterns, and extreme climatic events, disturbs the ecological balance in the water bodies.

Global Warming

Global warming and its subsequent increase lead to negative impact on aquaculture in temperate zones because such an increase could exceed the optimal temperature range of organisms currently cultured. Such impacts may influence the reproduction cycles of various species of fishes. This adverse condition is expected to restrain market growth.


Overfishing occurs when more fish are caught than the population can replace through natural reproduction. More than 30 percent of the ASEAN’s fisheries have been pushed beyond their biological limits and are in need of strict management plans to restore them.

Several important commercial fish populations (such as Atlantic bluefin tuna) have declined to the point where their survival as a species is threatened. Target fishing of top predators, such as tuna and groupers, is changing marine communities.

Industry Challenges

Disease management

Intensively cultured fish and shellfish are naturally susceptible to bacterial, fungal and parasitic infections, particularly at times of stress. Diseases pose a major threat to aquaculture. A loss to the tune of 10-15% of production cost may be incurred due to disease problems.

The major disease problems that occurs in aquaculture ponds are parasitic, fungal, and bacterial in origin. Important disease problems that generally encounters are argulosis, lerneasis, protozoan diseases caused by Trichodina, Costia, Ichthyobodo, Myxosporidean diseases, gill flukes such as Dactylogyrus, and Gyrodactylus; fungal diseases such as saprolegeniasis, branchiomycosis, Epizootic Ulcerative Syndrome; bacterial diseases such as aeromoniasis (fin and tail rot)/red disease, edwardsiellosis and Columnaris. Besides these, algal blooms is a major problem that depletes the dissolved oxygen in the ponds.

Seasonal nature of business

Production of shrimp in Aquaculture is seasonal in nature and harvested twice a year. Hence, the companies need to maintain stocks of shrimps at almost half of the inventory level. Seeds also cannot be stored for more than one month as the larvae have a specific shelf life.

On account of the demand in the export market, shrimp processing companies majorly use aqua cultured shrimps. Furthermore, there are varieties of lethal viral and bacterial diseases that affect shrimp. The fact that the shrimps are kept in clusters, acts as an exponential factor in multiplying the disease caught by a single shrimp and which may wipe out the almost 90% of total shrimp population in a particular farm.

The farms generally take two to three months of a farming holiday to maintain the hygiene of the ponds and lakes. Thus, the working capital requirement of the companies engaged in the business is also on the higher side.

Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing

Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing remains one of the greatest threats to marine ecosystems due to its potent ability to undermine national and regional efforts to manage fisheries sustainably as well as endeavours to conserve marine biodiversity.

IUU fishing takes advantage of corrupt administrations and exploits weak management regimes, in particular those of developing countries lacking the capacity and resources for effective monitoring, control, and surveillance (MCS).

IUU fishing is found in all types and dimensions of fisheries; it occurs both on the high seas and in areas within national jurisdiction, it concerns all aspects and stages of the capture and utilisation of fish, and it may sometimes be associated with organized crime.

Fisheries resources available to bona fide fishers are removed by IUU fishing, which can lead to the collapse of local fisheries, with small-scale fisheries in developing countries proving particularly vulnerable. Products derived from IUU fishing can find their way into overseas trade markets thus throttling local food supply.

Technology Trends

Pen and Cage Culture

Pen and cage culture involves rearing the fish in fixed or floating net enclosures supported by frameworks made of bamboo, wood or metal and set in sheltered, shallow portions of lakes, bays, rivers, and estuaries. The wider popularity of cage culture as compared to pen culture may be due to its greater flexibility in terms of siting the structures.

For example, cages may be installed in bays, lagoons, straits, and open coasts as long as they are protected from strong monsoonal winds and rough seas.

Floating cages can also be set up in deep lakes and reservoirs, and in rivers and canal systems, and even in deep mining pools which could not be used otherwise for culture due to harvesting difficulties. Yields from pen and cage culture are generally high, with or without supplemental feeding depending on the natural productivity of the water body.

In the Philippines, for example, the yields of milkfish from fish pens in Laguna de Bay were as high as 4 t/ha/crop (compared to a national milkfish fish pond average of 1 t/ha/y. In Indonesia, the cage culture of common carp in the Lido Reservoir in Cigombong gave a total production of 28 kg/m2 at a stocking density of 6 kg/m2 The cage culture of marine finfishes has likewise been shown to give high yields.

Genetic Sequencing and Genetic Markers

Carp and tilapia culture in Asia is benefiting from genetics research in a number of areas, including genetic sequencing and the development of specific genetic markers. Carp and tilapia culture in Asia is benefiting from genetics research in a number of areas, including genetic sequencing and the development of specific genetic markers.

Markers are short unique pieces of genetic code that can help locate genes that are important for growth, sex determination factors or disease susceptibility. Such techniques have already resulted in genetic improvements in some fish being cultured.

The traditional technique used for many generations by farmers throughout Asia has been selecting fish by desirable phenotypic traits for breeding, on an ad hoc basis. This has led, in many cases, to in-breeding and suppression of optimum production performance.

Recirculation Aquaculture Systems (RAS)

Traditional fishing occurs in small scale, commercial or subsistence fishing practices using traditional techniques such as rod and tackle, arrows and harpoons, throw nets and drag nets, etc. But the commercial fishing gears are described briefly under active, passive and other miscellaneous fishing gears. Active Fishing Gears

  • Hooks & Lines: Fishes are enticed by edible or artificial bait or which simulates the appearance and movement of natural prey and are finally held by the hook concealed in the bait or lure. The hook is connected to a line or snood. The fish is also held by piercing action of hooks or jigs passing nearby. Eg: Pole & line, Jig line (squid jigging), Troll line.
  • Lift net: Lift net consists of a horizontal netting panel or a cone-shaped bag with the mouth facing upward, which are submerged and lifted either manually or mechanically to filter the fish in the overlying water column.
  • Falling gear: It is cast over the area where fish is available, then gathered and lifted to collect the fish. Eg: Cast net, Cover coat, Lantern net
  • Passive Fishing Gears’
  • Grappling and wounding gear: Sharp implements such as clamps, tongs, lances, bow and arrow, harpoon and rifles are used for catching fish by wounding, grappling and killing.
  • Electrical fishing: Effect of pulsating electric field on fishes such as first reaction, electro-taxis (anodic attraction), electro-narcosis and electrocution are utilized in electrical fishing equipment.

Regulatory Trends

Regulation in Indonesia


The Government of Indonesia has pledged USD 6,132 Million in 2018 for the development of Aquaculture.


The main fisheries authority in Indonesia is the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (DKP). On matters related to aquaculture, the Ministry operates through the Directorate-General of Aquaculture Development.

At national level, fisheries and aquaculture are regulated by Fisheries Law No. 31/2004 (2004), which underscores the importance of sustainable use of aquatic resources in the development of fisheries.

Regulation in Thailand


The Thailand Government has invested USD 4,320 Million in 2018 for the growth of the Aquaculture Sector.

Of this approximately 30 percent of the allocation to the Inland Fisheries Division will be used in the Lake and Swamp Improvement Project. Approximately 20 percent of the allocation is for research and development and 50 percent for operating costs including salaries of personnel


The newly enacted Royal Ordinance on Fisheries of 2015 (the Royal Ordinance) establishes “National Fisheries Committee” (the Committee) with the power and duty to develop fisheries policies. One of the policies the Committee is vested to determine is on the country’s aquaculture development.

National Aquaculture Development Policies (NAqDP) is a policy document outlining the contributions of the aquaculture sector in carrying out National Economic and Social Development Plan (NESDP) and National Agricultural Development Plan (NADP). Specific strategies for lucrative species such as shrimp and tilapia may also be developed.

Regulation in Malaysia


Malaysian International Tuna Port (MITP) a 40:60 government-private sector joint venture company plans to invest RM 240 Million in the Batu Maung Port in Penang in 2018.

The Total investment in the Aquaculture sector by the Government of Malaysia is RM 4450 Million in 2018


Malaysian fisheries are governed by the Fisheries Act No.317 (1985) and its regulations. Inland fisheries and aquaculture regulations are issued by State authorities, whereas marine fisheries and aquaculture are a federal concern.

The main fisheries authority at federal level is the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry (MOA). With regard to aquaculture, the Director-General of Fisheries, head of the Fisheries Department, is vested with orientation powers for the development of marine and inland farming, in consultation with the concerned State Authority.

In particular, the promotion of inland aquaculture may involve the creation of experimental aquaculture stations for demonstrative purposes, fish-breeding facilities and training centres.

Regulation in Vietnam


The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) recently approved a project to make seafood sector more competitive, with financial support worth VND 102 billion from government and foreign businesses. The State Budget will provide VND 40 billion, while the remaining VND 62.2 billion, will be supported by international businesses.


The basic legislation applicable to aquaculture in Vietnam is the Fisheries Law of 2003, which dedicates Chapter IV solely to the regulation of aquaculture. The Chapter has 14 Articles that establishes an aquaculture master plan, rights and obligations for those practicing aquaculture, allocation and lease of land and area, feed and control of decease among others.

In addition to the Fisheries Law, the main legislation that has implications for aquaculture include the Law on Land, the Law on Water Resources and the Law on Environment Protection, there also exists secondary legislation, mainly decrees, adopted on the basis of these laws.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) serve as the competent national authorities responsible for all related matters.

Regulation in Philippines


The Philippines government in 2018 launched a major investment programme to improve agricultural and fisheries production as part of long term plans to increase rural incomes and boost social development in the country’s poorest regions.

Financial support for the investment scheme which is a USD 1 Billion Fund includes a USD 500 million loan from the World Bank and other international credits. Apart from loans to small scale fishermen to buy fishing boats, nets and other equipment, the government is funding infrastructure construction to support fisheries and agricultural development.

Among new initiatives the Department of Agriculture Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) recently has announced plans to build 252 community fish landing centres which costs each USD 62,000 in strategic locations across the country to improve socio-economic conditions in low income fishing communities.


The Philippine Fisheries Code (1998) provides for the development, management, conservation and utilization of fisheries and aquatic resources. The Code integrates all laws that are relevant to these issues. The Fisheries Code falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture.

Within the Department, the Undersecretary for Fisheries and Aquatic Resources is responsible for setting policies and formulating standards and for exercising overall supervision. The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquaculture Resources (BFAR) is the agency tasked with the management and development of fisheries and aquatic resources.

The Code also creates a National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI), which serves as the primary research arm of BFAR.

The functions of BFAR are broadly defined and include – inter alia – the preparation and implementation of the National Fisheries Industry Development Plan, the enforcement of laws and regulations (except in municipal waters) and the monitoring and regulation of import and export of fishery and aquaculture products and of fish processing establishments.

Regulation in Singapore


The Singapore Government has made a investment of USd 15 Million for the development of the Aquaculture sector in Singapore.

It is also found that the capital and annual recurrent costs for operation of aquaculture development plans are provided by the Government. A provision of approximately Sgp. $ 200 000 /has been made this year for aquacultural research projects.

This amount includes funds for the establishment of additional facilities and purchase of equipment and the operational cost of the projects. This amount would be increased substantially with the approval and implementation of the proposed aquaculture development project.


The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) is a statutory board under the Ministry of National Development that regulates food safety, safeguards animal and plant health, and facilitates the agri-food and fisheries trade sectors.

Regulation in Cambodia


The Government of Cambodia has invested USD 7 Million for the development of the Aquaculture in Cambodia


Cambodian fisheries are governed by the new Law on Fisheries and its regulations, issued on 21 May 2006. Its Fisheries Administration (FiA) is the principal government agency responsible for managing and developing fisheries and aquaculture. Its mandate and structure are set out in the Sub-decree. Freshwater fisheries and aquaculture regulations are issued by State authorities.

Other Key Market Trends

The Dominance of Pelagic Marine Species

The region’s catch is dominated by pelagic marine species and in many subregions small pelagic species (e.g. Japanese jack mackerel, Japanese anchovy, chub mackerel, Pacific saury, Indian oil sardine, Indian mackerels and scads). The increasing catches of small pelagic species is a recent trend that can be explained by two factors:

  • A more targeted fishing for these species (because of increased value); and, more seriously
  • As an effect of fishing down the food chain, i.e. when the large pelagic are less abundant the fishers target the small pelagics.

Market Size and Forecast


  • 8% – Contribution of the seafood sector to the GDP of Indonesia in 2018
  • USD 18 Billion – The total exports of Aquaculture products in 2018
  • Vannamei – is the dominantly farmed species.
  • Shrimp generates the highest revenue on a per kg basis among key commodities that are produced in significant quantities.
  • USD 4.4 Billions – Shrimp export value in 2018
  • 13.1 million tonnes – Production from Marine and brackish water aquaculture systems in 2018
  • 3.4 million tonnes – production from freshwater systems in 2018.
  • USD 3 Billion – Fish exports accounted for in 2018
  • 7.2 million tonnes – Fish production in 2018
  • USD 1.1 Billion – Value of Seaweed exports in 2018
  • 11.63 million tonnes – Seaweed production accounted for in 2018


  • 7% – Contribution of the seafood sector to the GDP of Vietnam in 2018
  • 3.96 million tonnes – The farmed seafood quantity produced in 2018
  • 2.69 million tonnes – total fish production in Vietnam in 2018
  • 723,800 tonnes – total shrimp produced in Vietnam in 2018
  • 394,000 tonnes – total farmed marine products including fish, mollusk, lobster, crab, and seaweed in 2018
  • USD 8 Billion – Total value of seafood export of Vietnam in 2018
  • USD 3.6 Billion – The value of total shrimp export of Vietnam in 2018
  • USD 2.26 Billion – The value of total fish export of Vietnam in 2018
  • USD 2.14 Billion – The value of total Seaweed export of Vietnam in 2018


  • 10% – Contribution of the seafood sector to the GDP of Thailand in 2018
  • USD 6.03 Billion – Total value of seafood export of Thailand in 2018
  • USD 2.2 Billion – The total value of fish export of Thailand in 2018
  • USD 1.85 Billion – The total value of Shrimp export of Thailand in 2018
  • USD 350 Million – The total value of Squid/Cuttlefish export of Thailand in 2018
  • USD 108 Million – The total value of Canned Sardines export of Thailand in 2018
  • 3.04 million tonnes – The total seafood produced by Thailand in 2018
  • 310,000 tonnes – total volume of Shrimp produced by Thailand in 2018
  • 2.59 million tonnes – total volume of fish produced by Thailand in 2018


  • 3.5% – Contribution of the seafood sector to the GDP of Philippines in 2018
  • 1.56 million tonnes – total volume of Seaweed produced by Philippines in 2018
  • 780,000 – total volume of Shrimp produced by Philippines in 2018
  • 4.64 million tonnes – total volume of fish produced by Philippines in 2018
  • USD 2.05 Billion – total value of fish produced in Philippines in 2018
  • USD 1.87 Billion – total value of Shrimp exported by Philippines in 2018
  • USD 345 Million – total value of Seaweed exported by Philippines in 2018


  • 2.3 million tonnes – total volume of Seafood Production of Malaysia in 2018
  • USD 506.5 million – total export of Seafood produced by Malaysia in 2018
  • 364,800 tonnes – total volume of Seaweed produced by Malaysia in 2018
  • 192,596 tonnes – total volume of Indian mackerel produced by Malaysia in 2018
  • 136,507 tonnes – total volume of Indian scad produced by Malaysia in 2018


  • 11% – Contribution of the seafood sector to the GDP of Cambodia in 2018
  • 802,450 tonnes – total volume of Seafood produced by Cambodia in 2018
  • 56,400 tonnes – total volume of fish export of Cambodia in 2018
  • USD 6 million – total value of Seafood export of Cambodia in 2018
  • USD 2 million – total value of fish export of Cambodia in 2018


Singapore is a major exporter of Ornamental Fish.

The production of ornamental fish which is export-oriented, is an important form of aquaculture practice in Singapore. At present, the export value of ornamental fish is more than USD 76.7 million, which contribute in some measure to the national economy.

Market Outlook


  • 3.7% – Expected CAGR growth rate of Aquaculture of Indonesia from 2018 to 2025
  • 16.6% – Expected CAGR growth rate of Shrimp export value of Indonesia in 2018 to 2025
  • 1.4% – Expected CAGR growth rate of Fish export value of Indonesia in 2018 to 2025
  • 12.8% – Expected CAGR growth rate of Seaweed export value of Indonesia in 2018 to 2025


  • 4.5% – Expected CAGR growth rate of Aquaculture of Thailand in 2018 to 2025
  • 13.5% – Expected CAGR growth rate of Shrimp export value of Thailand in 2018 to 2025
  • 2.6% – Expected CAGR growth rate of Fish export value of Thailand in 2018 to 2025
  • 12% – Expected CAGR growth rate of Seaweed export value of Thailand in 2018 to 2025


  • 6% – Expected CAGR growth rate of Aquaculture of Vietnam in 2018 to 2025
  • 10% – Expected CAGR growth rate of Shrimp export value of Vietnam in 2018 to 2025
  • 4% – Expected CAGR growth rate of Fish export value of Vietnam in 2018 to 2025
  • 13.2% – Expected CAGR growth rate of Seaweed export value of Vietnam in 2018 to 2025


  • 6.2% – Expected CAGR growth rate of Aquaculture of Philippines in 2018 to 2025
  • 8.1% – Expected CAGR growth rate of Fish export value of Philippines in 2018 to 2025
  • 8.8%- Expected CAGR growth rate of Shrimp export value of Vietnam in 2018 to 2025
  • 12.1% – Expected CAGR growth rate of Seaweed export value of Vietnam in 2018 to 2025

Technology Roadmap

Big data technologies for monitoring of fisheries

With mounting data heaps created on Fisheries monitoring, control and Surveillance, big data can help in sorting out data from new technological tools. Big data serves as an alternative to database software and request tools. Today data is created and processed on the cloud and displayed in near real-time on mobile devices.

Big Data comprises customer transaction records, production databases, web traffic logs, automation, satellites, sensors and IoT. Big data can help in sorting the information especially in case of vessel traffic intensity. For example, new web-based technology platform e.g.

Global Fishing Watch was launched by Oceana, SkyTruth, Google in 2015 combining data from AIS sources (terrestrial and satellite) with powerful algorithms to isolate suspect vessel behaviours.

Blockchain Technologies

A blockchain is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. Each block typically contains a hash pointer as a link to a previous block, a timestamp and transaction data.

The first implementation of blockchain technology for the seafood industry was initiated in 2017. Three companies partnered in order to create the first dedicated blockchain system for origin data and tracking for the international seafood industry –the Earth Twine-Stratis Platform.

This platform combines collaborative technologies (Earth Twine, SPARKL, Stratis), and will provide the means to increase traceability for fish products, directly targeting IUU fishing products mixed within the value chain of legal products.

This option is still hypothetical as a competitor will probably not freely share commercial data. Therefore, a critical mass of interest group needs to be fostered for further application and implementation.

Drones (also named as Un-manned Vehicle)

The growing use of fully or partly unmanned vehicles, or drones, is one of the prominent fields of application of new technology for sustainable fisheries.

Three main type of drone may be distinguished:

  • UAV: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
  • USV: Unmanned Surface Vehicle
  • UUV: Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (where distinction is made between ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) & AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle).

Drones can be used for fish stock assessments, therefore providing cheaper services than oceanographic vessels. MPAs can be monitored and controlled using drones, providing flexible and cheaper means to MPA authorities. Drone surveillance can assist in securing prosecution because it can provide sufficient information for a fishery officer to believe that an illegal act has taken place.

Distribution Chain Analysis

Broodstock production: There are various sources of Broodstock: (a) naturally grown sea-caught and spawned, (b) cultured-harvested from ponds, then on-grown for 2-3 months before transferring to maturation facilities and (c) purchased from tank-reared Specific-Pathogen-Free (SPF)/Specific-Pathogen Resistant (SPR) Broodstock from other regions.

Hatchery: Broodstock is procured by hatcheries and stocked in maturation facilities where they are grown and spawned.

Cultivation, harvesting and storing: The fishery farmers design and construct a suitable pond according to the characteristics of the selected site and culture system and maintain the water quality suitable for the selected breed.

The cultivation to harvest takes 7-8 months time period with good quality seed stocking and availability of all the required nutrients in the feeds, which constitutes 60%-70% of the total variable cost of farming.

As per best practices, the cropping is halted for 40-45 days after one cropping to make the ponds ready for next cropping. Generally, the farmers are able to crop twice a year. As the cold storage involves high cost, the cold storage chains act as a commissioning agent who procures the entire harvest and stores it for up to one year to supply to the processors or wholesalers in the local market.

Processors/Exporters: The processors procure the fishes, either directly from the farmers or from the agents, depending on the location, availability, and pricing of the fish. Farmers have lower bargaining power as they lack the cold storage.

Due to seasonality in cropping, the processors procures large quantum of harvest during the harvesting seasons which increases the inventory and working capital requirements. The fish processors are equipped with the advanced cold storages in their facilities capacity ranging between of 1,000 Metric Tonne (MT) and 10,000 MT where the processed fishes can be stored for up to 1 year, using Individual Quick Freezing (IQF) process, freezing the product at -27 degrees centigrade.

Though the IQF process requires large capex, it is a more efficient approach than the earlier block freezing where customers were forced to buy the product in bulk. The entire processing, freezing, and packaging take maximum 7 days when it would be ready to be shipped from the port. The transportation from farmers to processing units to ports requires insulated vans where the temperature needs to be maintained at -18 degrees centigrade.

Competitive Landscape

Fish production and export industry is highly fragmented. The Key strategies adopted by market players include

  • Product launch: Owing to technology advancement, the new or differentiated services are evolved by different companies to gain a competitive advantage.
  • Acquisition: Takeovers are implemented by market leaders to strengthen their reach to customers or enhance technical capabilities.
  • Agreement and partnership: Leading players are signing partnerships to utilize each other facilities and share technologies to capture major market share and compete with other players.
  • Geographical expansion: Top leaders in the aquaculture market are expanding their business to reach out to customers globally to increase their business.
  • Merger: It is a strategic alliance where two or more companies collaborate to form a new company by a new name.

Competitive Factors

On production

  • Quality and reliability of input supply especially seed take priority over cost.
  • While cost is important, they give priority to seed quality and maintain good business relations with a reliable supplier.
  • Efficiency of access to inputs is as important as efficiency of use.
  • Investments in on- farm biosecurity measures pay for themselves.
  • On-farm innovations and skilled farm labor reduce costs and raise efficiency.

On marketing

  • Good market analysis informs good production and marketing strategies.
  • Keeping up to date on market information enables farmer to negotiate fair and uniform price.
  • Reputation of product and farm improves market access and competitiveness.
  • Compete with the attributes of the farm and product rather than on product price.
  • Fostering a reputation for consistently good quality product to enhance market access and maintain customer loyalty.
  • Avoiding direct competition, for instance, harvesting when wild caught fish is scarce.
  • Maintaining a relationship of trust with buyers
  • Obtaining a favorable price with good management and marketing strategies rather than by depressing the price or under cutting competition
  • Avoiding saturation of the (local) market
  • Diversifying product and product forms, without straining production efficiency, to satisfy

Key Market Players

Thai Union Group is a Thailand-based producer of seafood-based food products. It was founded in 1977 and was listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) on 22 November 1994. Thai Union operates worldwide with plant facilities in France, Ghana, Poland, Portugal, Papua New Guinea, Norway, the Seychelles, Scotland, Vietnam, Thailand and the United States. Its business includes tuna, shrimp, sardines/mackerel, salmon, pet food, and value-added products (prepared foods)

Cuulong Fish JSC (ACL:VN) is a fishery company in Vietnam, specializing in farming and processing two species of pangasius, a genus of catfish, Pangasius bocourti and Pangasius hypophthalmus (the iridescent shark).

The company’s main facilities are in Long Xuyen City in An Giang Province, adjacent to the Mekong River. Cuulong processes over 80,000 tons of pangasius per year. Products include frozen fillets, breaded fillets, fishsticks, nuggets and fish sausage. uulong Fish’s stock is listed at the Ho Chi Minh Securities Trading Center.

Dharma Samudera Fishing Industries is active in the Indonesian seafood industry. The company is an integrated seafood enterprise with a wide range of operations, including processing activities (producing value-added products such as fish fillets, steaks, and loins), purchasing from local fishing fleets, and trading and marketing its products to various countries around the world. Headquartered in Jakarta, Dharma Samudera Fishing Industries owns processing facilities in the fishery hubs of Kendari and Makassar (both on Sulawesi).

Strategic Conclusion

Aquaculture production in ASEAN is projected to grow to 23,167 kilo tonnes by 2025. It is forecasted that the ASEAN aquaculture market to reach USD 40.74 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 5.3% between 2018 and 2025.

Disease management, Seasonal nature of business, Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing are the chllenges being faced by the Industry.

The restraints’ pricking the growth of the market includes Climate Change, Global Warming, Overfishing.

The growth of the market is driven by factors such as Increasing awareness about various health benefits of seafood and its rising consumption, Increasing Demand for cultured varieties, Favourable Farming Traits, Use of new technologies.

Further Reading



  • USD – US Dollar
  • IoT – Internet of Things
  • IUU – Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing
  • MCS – Monitoring, Control, and Surveillance
  • FIA – Fisheries Administration

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