LAST_UPDATESun, 24 Jun 2018 3pm

Pahang Aquaculture Fish Production Targeted To More Than RM270 This Year

TEMERLOH -- The Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry targets to produce aquaculture fish products valued at over RM270 million this year from Pahang, particularly Temerloh which is synonymous with the Patin fish cage culture.

Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman said today Temerloh had so far this year produced over 14,000 tonnes of fish of various species including the Patin and Tilapia from its 2,018 cage culture units run by 283 operators.

He also said that freshwater fish from rivers contributed to 560 tonnes of landings valued at RM2.2 million as of July this year, of which 12.5 tonnes valued at over RM60,000 came from Temerloh.

"Cage fish culture in Temerloh, developed since 2008, is one of the biggest and most successful in Malaysia, and has lent its trademark to the district. We want the production of Temerloh Patin to rise to 20,000 tonnes by 2020,” he said.

Tajuddin spoke at a press conference after a get-together and distribution of Touch Point aid to Temerloh fishermen here. Pahang Tourism and Culture Committee chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Sharkar Shamsudin was also present at the event.

He called on the fishermen and cage fish breeders in Temerloh to “move forward’ and join the agro-tourism industry so that they do not stagnate and keep depending only on fish sales.

He said Temerloh was already known to tourists and located en route to several tourist destinations, making it a popular stopover for car club members and big bike enthusiasts.

“The fishermen must dare to grab the opportunities that come. Tourists need a place to stay and eat, and the younger generation, not just the tour operators, should think of bringing them in boats on river trips.

“But this has to be done well and in an organised manner so that they will come back. Think like an entrepreneur. Do not just think of breeding fish and selling them. Even then, you only sell here, at retail price.

“The time has come for you to think of ways to develop the fish rearing business, such as selling them in the big cities. Do not say that Kuala Lumpur is far because I see that when there are football matches, you can rent a car to go there. The mentality must change,” he said.

Tajuddin added that his ministry would discuss with the relevant ministries to organise international fishing competitions in the district as a way of promoting Temerloh and its fish.

At the event, Tajuddin presented fish feed worth RM187,000 to 125 fish breeders as well as a special el-nino aid of  RM47,000 to 94 entrepreneurs previously affected by the disaster.

He also announced the donation of two bucket reels costing to RM360,000 and the construction of a RM200,000-cold room for breeders to store freshwater fish.

“The ministry will also build a new fish nursery costing about RM150,000 and improve the existing nursery in Kampung Pangsenam, estimated to cost RM28,000. 

"With so many amenities and assistance that has been provided, there is no excuse for fishermen not to progress because what is important is our willingness to work and aim high so that our fish industry is on par with that of other countries,” he said.