Sustainable Aquaculture Technology Centre (SATC) 

The Sustainable Aquaculture Technology Centre (SATC) at Republic Polytechnic (RP) focuses on applied research and development in genetics, disease, health management and feed and fish nutrition. The Centre is committed to developing technologies for aquaculture and support the farming sector in enhancing local production of food RP.

In the changing aquaculture landscape, the SATC aims to innovate through the use of emerging technologies by using a combination of applied science, engineering and Infocomm technologies to support the aquaculture industry with high-quality and extensive research projects. A major goal of the SATC is to enhance farm production and operations to support Singapore’s ’30 by 30’ goal for food security.


Our Research Focus

SATC aims to develop core competencies in the following areas of sustainable aquaculture:

  • Genetics and fish breeding: This aspect involves harnessing the potential of genomic information and translating into the prediction of desirable commercial phenotypes by establishing the underlying genetic basis of traits (i.e. heritability, genetic correlations) and developing genetic/genomic selection evaluation models;
  • Disease and health management: It is not uncommon to lose almost 40% of the production volume to disease. Therefore, limiting the impact of disease is the biggest current challenge to lifting aquaculture productivity in Singapore;
  • Feeds and fish nutrient quality: This area would focus on deepening knowledge on nutritional requirements of the relevant aquaculture species. This would lead to the development and optimisation of cost-effective, sustainable formulations.


Our capabilities and key resources for Sustainable Aquaculture research:

SATC administers, facilitates and/or markets sustainable aquaculture research through customised solutions at RP via:

•         Funded projects

•         Joint laboratories

•         Consultancy projects

•         Student final year projects

•         Student learning, training and industry immersion

•         Staff industry associate scheme

•         Industry events and technology showcases



Some of our key resources include:

  • Aquaria, equipped with an outdoor air-ventilated facility and indoor temperature-controlled rooms, is used as a dedicated marine science and aquaculture teaching and research facility. The Aquaria features coral tanks, outdoor circular fiberglass tanks, and indoor experimental tanks with ultraviolet light and temperature control capabilities containing a vast array of aquatic organisms, both fresh and seawater.
  • RP - James Cook University Singapore (JCUS) Joint Marine Conservation Lab for the study of coastal marine ecology
  • Greenhouse for urban farming and aquaponics

Our Projects

Project 1
Focus area: Genetics and fish breeding

In partnership with Tropical Futures Institute-James Cook University, Singapore Tropical Futures Institute-James Cook University, Singapore (TFI-JCUS), SATC is working on developing genetic resources for Red Snapper, an important marine food fish for Singapore, which is funded by the Singapore Food Agency - Singapore Food Story R&D Programme (SFA-SFS R&D Programme). This project will develop the genetic knowledge needed for the Red Snapper industry to manage broodstock populations better and implement a selective breeding program for the species. Importantly, the project will establish a genetically diverse and superior Red Snapper breeding population with commensurate genomic and phenotypic information as a base for industry’s future growth.

Picture Red Snapper

Project 2
Focus area: Aquaculture Production

SATC is collaborating with a Multinational Corporation (MNC), to investigate the survival and propagation of the Marbled Crayfish under the tropical environment. Tissue samples are tested regularly for genetic analysis to characterise differences in genetic markers between temperate and tropical specimens. 


Project 3
Focus area: Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) prototyping

In partnership with SMEs, SATC tested a prototype RAS system designed and made by the company for mud crabs. The collaboration involved data collection and looked into ways of improving the system for the production of mud crabs.


Project 4
Focus area: Feed and Nutrition

Okara is a by-product of soybean-based products. Despite its richness in nutrients, more than 30,000kg of Okara is discarded every day in Singapore due to its high insoluble fibre content and unique poignant smell. Okara shows potential as an alternative protein source for aquatic species and thus was researched for possibilities in abalone feed.

The researchers have developed and formulated abalone feed with the addition of Okara to create a cost-effective and nutritious feed. The formulated abalone feed has demonstrated feed acceptance, increased growth rates and prolonged survivability as compared to commercial feed during feed trials. This decreases the production period for aquatic feed and thus allows for lower operating costs and lower production costs for farms culturing abalone. There is also potential in the addition of Okara as feed for fish and shrimp. You can read more about this project by clicking on this link.

Project 5
Focus area: Health management in aquaculture using probiotics

Aquaculture is one of the fastest-growing food-producing sectors to meet the world’s protein demand. Whiteleg Shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) species exhibits a fast growth rate and short culture period.  Barramundi (Lates calcarifer), a common food fish, can tolerate being farmed in high stocking density. Female broodstock are highly fecund, producing a large number of eggs for hatchery production. Both the adult and juveniles also feed well on a pelleted diet when farmed. Both species are intensively farmed in many countries.

Economic losses from bacterial and viral infections are a major challenge in aquaculture. Control of these diseases typically involves the use of antibiotics, which can lead to the development of drug-resistant bacteria. An alternative to antibiotic treatment is the use of probiotics to protect the host from pathogens by inhibiting the colonisation of other harmful microorganisms. Research of probiotics in the improvement of growth or survival rate in fish and crustaceans are rarely done.

In collaboration with NTU, SATC is trying out new methods to promote stable colonisation of probiotic strains in the gut of the test species (L. vannamei and L. calcarifer).  The high retention capacity of probiotics in the gut could promote growth performance and increase the survivability of aquaculture species in an environmentally sustainable way.


Project 6
Focus area: Alternative proteins as feeds

In partnership with SMEs, SATC aims to identify and characterise suitable native cricket species as a source of alternative proteins in aquaculture feed. The project will explore the nutritional effects and process feasibility of utilising food waste such as fish processing waste, soybean waste etc. as cricket feed and the incorporation of simple, semi-automation efforts that will increase efficiency (enabling upscaling) while keeping production costs low.

In addition, SATC is working on a project collaborating with companies to evaluate feed formulation containing black soldier flies (BSF) for L. vannamei (white leg shrimp) by small scale trials.

BSF is considered a promising alternative protein source to develop aquatic feed due to the high protein content in BSF.  Using BSF in the aquatic feed as the partial replacement of fish meal reduces the huge cost of aquaculture operation incurred by fish meal-based feed. It addresses the global concerns generated from the limitations of wild catch and the depletion of other fish species globally.


To date, BSF technology has only been limited to use of industrial-grade food waste such as Okara, coffee spent or brewery waste due to concerns of toxin bioaccumulation in food waste, traceability and safety. But with an automated pneumatic waste conveyance system, it will be secured and traceable.

In this project, the RP team will develop BSF based feed formulated for L. vannamei and will conduct a grow out trial to optimises the most suitable BSF based feed for shrimp

In collaboration with NTU, SATC is trying out new methods to promote stable colonisation of probiotic strains in the gut of the test species (L. vannamei and L. calcarifer).  The high retention capacity of probiotics in the gut could promote growth performance and increase the survivability of aquaculture species in an environmentally sustainable way.

Partner us! 

Maintaining an excellent partnership with the industry, universities and research institutions is a prime focus for SATC. As one of the Conexus centres in RP, the SATC works closely with the government and the industry on research and development. Our collaborators include universities (NUS, NTU, TFI-JCUS), industries and organisations such as Singapore Food Agency, Resort World Sentosa and Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

In meeting the objective to deliver an internationally recognised and industry-relevant curriculum, our staff and students have been participating in national and international conferences/meetings, industry fairs, and actively seeking collaboration with the marine science and aquaculture community.

SATC publishes the results of our research endeavours via journals, patents, media reports, dissertations, talks and showcases at technical meetings. Discoveries and inventions with commercial potential are protected prior to public disclosure.

Interested in working with us? 

If you are keen to explore opportunities in Sustainable Aquaculture, please contact us