According to the Fishery Department, Malaysia produces about 1.5 million metric tons every year. Most of the marine catch are pelagic fish with Indian mackerel, round scad, squid, tuna, and bream being among the major species caught. The domestic fish supply consists of approximately 1.45 million metric tons a year. About 36 000 vessels were estimated, among which there are small boats fitted with outboard motors. Per capita, the annual consumption of fisheries products is approximately 114.6 lbs (52 kg).
In 2016, the value for capture fisheries production was 1 584 371 metric tons, and the value for total fisheries production was 1 992 258 metric tons.
As was mentioned above, brackish is the major aquaculture industry in Malaysia with a total production of approximately 144 189 tonnes. Brackish aquaculture involves bivalve mollusks, which is mostly distributed in the western coastal waters with an excessive amount of mudflats. Another type of aquaculture in the country is freshwater aquaculture with a production of 49 951 tonnes. In 2003, this was approximately 30% of the total aquaculture production. The main species that are bred are the red hybrid tilapia, hybrid walking catfish, and climbing perch. These species are distributed in lakes, reservoirs, ex-mining pools, etc.
Brackish aquaculture consists mostly of 54% of bivalve mollusks, mainly the blood cockles, followed by shrimps, giant tiger prawns, and marine fish. But the black tiger shrimp has been the main species in terms of the value of production - for a period of 5 years, this species has been valued at USD 160 186. Malaysia has lots of species of aquatic animals that are endemic to the region, but not all of them are commercialized. Almost all species of marine fish are indigenous to the country, but there are some products that are imported from Taiwan and Thailand.
As for freshwater aquaculture production, Nile tilapia comprises 44.7% of the total freshwater farming type - it was first introduced in 1944 from Indonesia. Catfish production (36.7%) and carps (10.08%) follow the list. In terms of the value of production, Nile tilapia remains the main species contributing 49.37%, the red tilapia had the highest value of USD 27 million.
There are several culture practices and systems that are operating in Malaysia, which are:
Cockle culture on coastal mudflats;
Freshwater fish culture in ponds, in ex-mining pools, concrete ponds, and pen culture in inland wetlands or shallow lakes;
Freshwater fish culture in floating net-cages;
Mussel culture using floating raft (off-bottom);
Oyster culture using floating raft and longlines;
Ornamental fish culture in ponds, tanks, aquaria, and floating;
Seaweed culture using the hanging method.
“In 1990, production from aquaculture was 52 302 tonnes. By 1994, production had doubled to 114 114 tonnes. In 2003, aquaculture production was at 194 139 tonnes at a value of USD 308 million - about 20% of the total value of the fisheries production in Malaysia. Brackish water species accounted for more than 70% of the total aquaculture production in terms of value and quantity. Of these, blood cockles recorded the highest production, followed by marine shrimp and other freshwater species, such as tilapia, carps, and catfish, as well as marine fish. Cockles account for almost 50% of the total brackish water aquaculture production, and about 37% of the annual aquaculture production. However, marine shrimp accounted for the highest value of production, with about 65% of the total value of brackishwater aquaculture production, and 52% of the total value of aquaculture production in 2003. Marine and brackish water aquaculture production recorded an increase of more than 20% in comparison to production in 2002. Freshwater aquaculture production, however, only recorded an increase of about 7% in comparison with production in 2002.”
Malaysia exports some species of marine fish, i.e, the barramundi, groupers, crabs, black tiger prawns, white-leg shrimps, to Singapore, mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. As for the import, the country gets marine fish fry and fingerlings, fishmeal from other countries.