Find Fisheries expertise in Brunei Darussalam

Brunei Darussalam has a coastline of 161km, an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 36,600km2, and a continental shelf of 8,600km. Thus Brunei Darussalam has a fairly extensive fishing area, yet fisheries, along with agriculture and forestry, only contribute 1% to the Brunei’s total GDP (2008).

The Department of Fisheries within the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources estimated the value of fisheries at about B$200 million (Brunei Dollars) per year from which about B$112 million (56%) is from the capture fisheries industry, B$71 million (35%) from the aquaculture industry and the remaining B$17 million (9%) from the seafood processing industry. In line with the national economic policy to diversify the country’s economy away from oil and gas, offshore fishing is considered to have great future potential for expansion. At the moment, Brunei Darussalam is heavily dependent on fish imports, exporting only about B$ 1.63 million in seafood products and importing B$73.6 million.

The offshore area covers 75% of the territorial waters, which consists mainly of pelagics and tuna species. Most of the fishing grounds closer to land in Brunei are close to the mangrove swamps of the Brunei estuaries where the abundant nutrients make it an ideal area for fish to reproduce.

The industry is undergoing steady modernisation, with a general shift away from artisanal fishing towards more modern, large-scale practices. The fisheries industry comprises three sectors: capture fisheries, aquaculture, and seafood processing sector. Capture fisheries in Brunei Darussalam are derived from small-scale and commercial fisheries sectors. About 70% of the total production is contributed by small-scale fisheries.

The post-harvest sector has also shown encouraging development over the years, from small-scale back yard type to small/medium scale mechanised commercial operation. Large scale commercial fishing usually involves exporting fresh fish caught to neighbouring countries like China and Taiwan like the recent breeding of the highly-demanded fish species like the mouse grouper and coral trout in which the market price is B$160 per kilogramme if sold to China and Taiwan. Small pelagic stock is one of the most important components of the fishery resources in Brunei Darussalam. It comprises about 20% of the total fish landings of the commercial fishing boats.

This modernisation process has also fostered the emergence of aquaculture, for which Brunei Darussalam is an ideal environment as it does not experience typhoons or floods, and has relatively unpolluted waterways. The major activities in the aquaculture industry are the cage culture of marine fish and the pond culture of marine shrimp.

Fisheries organisations in Brunei Darussalam
Department of Fisheries