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Maiden Kelah Fish Project To Be Developed, Mersing

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MERSING – In the government’s effort to preserve the survival of the Malaysian Mahseer (Kelah fish) species, the Fisheries Department will develop a pilot Kelah fish seeding and hatchment project together with local fish operators.

Speaking to reporters after visiting a farming project, Far East Planet Agrofarm, at Kampung Air Merah, here today, Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said this effort is needed as the Kelah fish population that can be found in its habitat has decreased, thus, causing the rearing of the fish to become harder with its seeds also becoming scarce.

Ahmad Shabery said through the project, the Fisheries Department will transfer existing technology as well as help provide for training and technical assistance.

The department will also provide assistance in enlarging the present fishing ponds as well as preparing more modern and systematic amenities, he said.

Currently, the department also has four production hatcheries in Pahang, Negeri Sembilan, Sarawak dan Kedah.

“Last year, we succeeded in producing 20,000 Kelah seeds that were released back to its habitat, while some were taken by local operators,” said Ahmad Shabery.

However, he commented that the involvement of local operators in the breeding of Kelah fish was still scarce, with not more 10 operators available nationwide.

The Far East Planet Agrofarm Kelah fish breeding farm is run by local operator, Mohamad Hanafi Awang and his family.

Mohammad Hanafi began the Kelah fish project with eight fish ponds on his two-acre land four years ago, and now he has 6,000 Kelah fish including the red and blue (Malaysian Red and Blue Mahseer) species. – BERNAMA

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