Curtin Malaysia holding webinar on aquaculture, introducing postgraduate course in sustainable aquaculture

Miri – 2 April 2021 – Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) is organising a series of free public webinars on aquaculture in collaboration with Curtin University in Australia to raise awareness of the emerging aquaculture industry in Sarawak.

The webinars are also being organised in conjunction with the introduction of its new Master of Science in Sustainable Aquaculture postgraduate coursework degree in July this year.

The first webinar titled ‘Aquaculture in Sarawak: Challenges and Opportunities’ will be held via Cisco Webex on 6 April 2021, from 9 am to 12 noon (UTC/GMT +8). Those interested to join the webinar can pre-register at http://bit.ly/WebinarRegisterAquaculture and follow the live stream at http://bit.ly/CurtinwebexAquaculture on the day.

The webinar will feature three aquaculture experts, namely Professor Ravi Fotedar, Professor of Sustainable Aquaculture of Curtin University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering in Perth; Chin Han Kiat, a senior fisheries officer with Sarawak’s Department of Agriculture; and June Moh Hwei Yieng, Head of the State Fisheries Biosecurity Branch at the Department of Agriculture’s Sarawak Regional Fisheries Biosecurity Centre.

Professor Fotedar’s expertise is in sustainable aquaculture, both marine and freshwater. He has first-hand experience in dealing with a range of aquaculture sustainability issues, including sustainable production, the environmental impacts of aquaculture, post-harvesting and processing, value addition and quality assurance of seafood, international marketing and project management. He was previously a manager of seafood business with Tata Exports, Ltd. in India where he developed close business relationships with leading multinational aquaculture and seafood processing companies in the United States, the Philippines, India and Indonesia.

At Curtin University, Professor Fotedar has successfully completed various international and domestic projects in aquaculture. He has . more than 150 peer-reviewed journal articles in international journals and recently published a book on ‘Recent Advances and New Species in Aquaculture’ and a manual for Marron farmers.

Chin has been in the aquaculture field for more than 10 years and is currently the programme owner of all aquaculture projects and subsidies implemented in Sarawak. He is particularly interested in marine species and breeding techniques and is a member of the Sarawak Institute of Agricultural Scientists and the Malaysian Fisheries Society. Prior to joining the Department of Agriculture, Chin worked as a farm technician in red tilapia production with PKPS Farm Mart in Selangor and hatchery technician in marine shrimp production with Cargill Aquaculture Resources in Pahang. He was also involved in the breeding of Ilish (Tenualosa ilisha) in Bangladesh with Worldfish Centre Bangladesh and UPM Serdang.

Moh, meanwhile, manages official programmes such as sampling programmes, premise registration and audits at the fisheries biosecurity centre in Bintawa. She also provides official guarantee programmes such as certification and permits for import and export purposes. Moh’s role also involves being a lab manager at the Virology Laboratory specialising in fish and shrimp disease analysis.

According to the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Science at Curtin Malaysia, Professor Tuong-Thuy Vu, the webinar will focus on developing a sophisticated aquaculture industry in Sarawak, including related research and development and manpower training.

Professor Vu said the introduction of the 2-year Master of Science in Sustainable Aquaculture at Curtin Malaysia is timely in light of the growing aquaculture and fisheries industries in Sarawak to meet increasing market demand for related products.

The course prepares students for work in a number of fields related to aquaculture and fisheries and was designed from a global aquaculture perspective to make them industry-ready anywhere in the world.

Students of the course, who must have bachelor degrees preferably in fisheries, marine science, agriculture or food science, will explore the principles of aquaculture and factors influencing the viability of aquatic animal farming and food production systems. They will also explore the commercial business of sustainable aquaculture, and learn the skills to establish, manage and appraise aquaculture enterprises.

In addition, they will have opportunities to engage in related research with access to modern aquaculture research facilities at Curtin Malaysia, Curtin University in Perth and partner organisations.

The course will be delivered by highly-qualified and experienced teaching staff from Curtin Perth and Curtin Malaysia, and will be available in both full-time and part-time mode.

Don’t miss the ‘Aquaculture in Sarawak: Challenges and Opportunities’ webinar on 6 April.

Ravi Fotedar, Professor of Sustainable Aquaculture of Curtin University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering.

Chin Han Kiat, senior fisheries officer with Sarawak’s Department of Agriculture.

June Moh Hwei Yieng, Head of State Fisheries Biosecurity Branch, Sarawak Regional Fisheries Biosecurity Centre.

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