Closed season to save the ‘terubok’
KUCHING (May 19, 2007): There will be no fishing in May and September over the next three years at Batang Lassa, in the Mukah division of Sarawak, to enable the prized ikan terubok to spawn.
If necessary, the ban will be extended for two more years, said state Assistant Minister for Agriculture (Research and Coordination) Dublin Untung.
“This is to prevent the fish from being depleted,” he told Andy Chua Chu Fatt (BN – Pujut) during question time.
He said during the closed season, all fishing activity along the 7km-long Batang Lassa river would be banned.
The fisheries division of the state agriculture department and marine police would enforce the ban.
Dublin said terubok was in high demand and its salted eggs much sought after by local consumers as well as visitors from the peninsula.
The other spawning ground for Sarawak’s famed fish is Batang Lupar.
Dublin said a study carried out by local and Australian scientists pinpointed over-fishing and deterioration of water quality, especially at the estuaries of the rivers and the spawning grounds, as the main reasons for the drop in the terubok population.
The assistant minister added that this had left little opportunity for the replenishment of the natural stock.
“The production of terubok fries using artificial propagation will be intensified so that efforts to rehabilitate the natural habitats of the fish can be carried out at a faster pace,” he said.
Dublin said the authorities were helping affected terubok fishermen, including giving them interest-free loans to take up alternative income-generating activities, like fish and livestock rearing and vegetable cultivation.
The second story is about the Humpback Wrasse, found in the seas off Sabah:
Sabah ban on humphead wrasse export
By Tan Cheng Li
KOTA KINABALU (Apr 9, 2008): Sabah will no longer export the popular and highly-priced humphead wrasse from June, in a move to arrest the dwindling wild stocks of the fish.
Director of Fisheries Sabah, Rayner Stuel Galid, said export permits for the fish would not be issued or renewed. He said there were now five companies in Sabah each with permits to export 300 fishes a month.
“Other countries, such as the Philippines, have already stopped exporting this fish. So we are being consistent with the ultimate aim of protecting this resource,” said Rayner.
Ranked “endangered” by IUCN-World Conservation Union, hump-head wrasses (also called mameng or su mei) are subjected to trade limitations and permit requirements under the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species.