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Cablegate: U.S. Interest in Brunei's Aquaculture Industry

VZCZCXYZ0005
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBD #0272 3170919
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 130919Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4702
INFO RUEHKL/AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR 0726
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN 000272

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

STATE PASS FOR EAP/MTS/COPPOLAMG
KUALA LUMPUR FOR FAS/COTTRELLD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD ECON EINV USTR BX

SUBJECT: U.S. INTEREST IN BRUNEI'S AQUACULTURE INDUSTRY

SUMMARY
--------
1. (SBU) Embassy Commercial Assistant met with Dr. Sergio F. Nates,
President of the Fats and Proteins Research Foundation (FPRF),
National Rendering Association (NRA) and Victor Suresh, Director of
Nutrition & Feeds, Integrated Aquaculture International (IAI), for
an update on U.S. interest in the aquaculture industry in Brunei.
Since 2006, IAI has been working with Brunei's Department of
Fisheries (DoF) to develop black tiger shrimp for export. However,
Brunei's capacity for large scale shrimp export is limited. A
better field for development is in fish and high performance feed.
End Summary

U.S. IS PART OF BRUNEI'S AQUACULTURE INDUSTRY
--------------------------------------------- -
2. (SBU) In 2006, Integrated Aquaculture International (IAI) and
Brunei's Department of Fisheries (DoF) entered into a 3 year
contract to develop advanced aquaculture technology. The contract's
goal is to produce large black tiger shrimp for export, in
particular specific-pathogen-free (SPF) and genetically-improved
post larvae. In addition, IAI and DoF hope to develop
high-performing feeds and sustainable farming systems that produce
shrimp for premium markets. In the 3-year period, IAI has upgraded
DOF facilities, including the establishment of an advanced
diagnostic lab. IAI has also established SPF blue shrimp as founder
stock for an ongoing breeding program. Black tiger shrimp have been
developed as potential SPF status. IAI is working on a selective
breeding program while feeding and nutrition experiments are in
various stages of development. IAI's Director of Nutrition and
Feeds, Victor Suresh, disclosed that IAI's contract with DOF is
currently under review for renewal for an additional three years.

WHAT THE FUTURE MIGHT OR MIGHT NOT BRING
-----------------------------------------
3. (SBU) Sergio Nates of Fat and Protein Research Foundation (FPRF),
was in Brunei to assess the DOF's facilities. FPRF funded the
IAI/DOF research project and is evaluating additional funding of
USD60,000 for a second research project. FPRF works closely with
both IAI and the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA). Commenting on
the Brunei Government's recent venture, a USD5.4 million Eco
Aquaculture Park, Suresh noted that Brunei is on the right path by
focusing on the fish industry. The country does not have sufficient
land for a productive shrimp industry. It would be more feasible
for Brunei to concentrate on the export of shrimp broodstock and
high performance feed.

4. (SBU) About U.S. based Darden Restaurant Inc's recent discussions
with DOF for possible supply of black tiger shrimp; Nates commented
that it was a courtesy on the part of Darden. He added that Brunei
will not be able to meet Darden's operational demands. (Note: Bill
Herzig of Darden is also board member of GAA. End Note.) Nates also
stated that Dr. Peng Li, Asian Director of the NRA will visit Brunei
in January 2010. Dr. Li, an expert in aquaculture nutrition, will
view IAI/DOF facilities and meet DOF officials. It looks likely
FPRF will continue to work with IAI and DOF on research into high
quality feed and SPF shrimp.

TODD

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