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The local market for processed seafood products presently is estimated to worth B$ 17 million annually at a sustainable level. The year 2001 saw the total production of processed seafood products at 273 metric tones valued at B$ 2.6 million. There is also the domestic requirement for fishmeal, which at present, about 5 metric tons are being imported per day and with the growing aquaculture, chicken farming etc. in the country, the demand is set to increase. More rooms are still available for expansion and further development.

In addition, the following factors also make the processing industry a tremendous potential in Brunei Darussalam :-
  1. Brunei Darussalam’s food products are regarded in the local as well as overseas market as synonymous with high quality and "halal";
  2. Relatively an undeveloped sector and therefore very low level competition;
  3. Large established local market to start with; and
  4. Available prepared industrial sites with required basic infrastructures.
The fish processing sector is still, however, relatively at a small scale despite the big numbers of processors and a joint-venture company involved in the production of a variety of fisheries products. These products include frozen fish, crackers, fish ball and cakes, fish nuggets, shrimp pastes, marinated fish and dried fish. They are sold and easily available in the local markets.

The well-known prawn crackers of Brunei Darussalam is seeing further growth. The Department of Fisheries is continuously promoting the products locally and overseas. It is anticipated that the product will be available easily overseas.

The Department of Fisheries has verified the technology for the production of other value-added products such as smoked fish from underutilized fish.

The Department of Fisheries is also encouraging for the involvement of foreign companies to form a joint venture company with local entrepreneurs in further developing the fish processing sectors into larger enterprises.

Under the current, 5-year National Development Plan, the Department has earmarked two projects to boost the seafood processing industry. One is the Storage and Distribution Center - Phase II. The goal of this activity is to develop and expand the Continuous supply and marketing of quality fish produce from both the capture and aquaculture industries. The second project is the Regional Fisheries Import and Export Center (HUB). The goal of this activity is to provide seafood processing facilities and catalytic mechanisms for the overall development and expansion of the local seafood industry.

Ensuring the safety and quality of fish produced by local processors have been one of the main priorities of the Department of Fisheries. Through the Quality Control Programs, processed fish products are duly inspected. Seafood products intended for international markets are given Health Attestation certificates prior to exports to meet the importing country’s requirement. Guidelines for the setting up of processing establishments are among other activities given by the department to entrepreneurs.


Aquaculture is one of the fast developing sector in the fisheries industry. The potentials of aquaculture is estimated to be at least B$ 71 million per year. The main area in the aquaculture sector is on shrimp farming. Other potentials are in fish off-shore cage culture, ornamental fish production, and in freshwater culture.

Under the National Development Plan of the country, more areas for aquaculture will be developed. Government is providing generous assistance in establishing aquaculture industry. Areas for shrimp farming had been identified and the basic amenities such as access road, main electricity supply and water supply are available. Aside from the basic amenities, support facilities are also being implemented. Technology verification and development are conducted to ensure that appropriate technology and suitable species are available to the aquaculture operators.​



In capture fisheries, fishing licenses are still available for operating purse-seiners, tuna long-liners in the Brunei Fishery Limits, as follows :

This zone extends from 3 - 20 nautical miles offshore and is open for purse-seiners with less than 60 Gross Tonnage (GRT) and less than 350 Horse Power (HP).

This zone extends 20 - 45 nautical miles offshore and is open for the larger vessels as follows :
  • Purse-seiners with 60.1 - 150 Gross Tonnage (GRT) and 351 - 600 Horse Power (HP)  
  • Long liners with 60.1 - 150 Gross Tonnage (GRT) and 351 - 600 Horse Power (HP).
  • This zone extends from 45 - 200 nautical miles offshore and is open for tuna long lining and tuna purse-seining.
  • Licences for vessels operating other gears like long-lining, traps etc will be considered on case by case basis.
  • The level of exploitation, at present stands at about 58% of the allowed “maximum economic yield” (MEY) level.  In its effort to increase the contribution of fisheries towards the national GDP, the Government is opening opportunities for more investments in this sector especially on the pelagic or tuna fishing.

Besides giving supportive facilities and incentives, the Government, among others, is also :
  • encouraging participation of new operators either from the locals or as joint ventures;
  • giving technical guidance and assistance for the present operators to realize their maximum potentials;
  • promoting the establishment of more downstream processing industries; and
  • introducing the financial scheme to the local operators.​