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Sturgeon breeding should be promoted

sturgeon in Malaysia

I refer to the letter, “Negative impact of fish farm” by S. M. Mohamed Idris. He has a valid point on a legal issue for importing sturgeon which is against the Fisheries Act 1985 – Fisheries Regulations (Prohibition of import etc, for fish) (Amendment) 2011.

The law has to be amended first before any party is allowed to import the species for any purpose. Felda, a government-linked company has to abide by the law like other companies under the principle of the rule of law.

Actually, Felda is not the first company to bring in sturgeon to Malaysia, there are other companies had imported sturgeon for breeding purpose as reported in the local newspapers some time ago.

Sturgeon from the fish farm is a commercial fish commonly available in the wet markets in China. The fish is no longer on the brink of extinction and under the red alert protection list.

Caviar harvested from the sturgeon is a lucrative business, a new blue sea industry for Malaysia to escape from the middle-income trap.

Sturgeon breeding is no different than other fish breeding like African tilapia, an alien species if the breeders have followed all licensing and technical requirements as stipulated by the Fishery Department.

Malaysia, a tropical country has an advantage for sturgeon breeding compared to their native land, as the fish grows faster in the hot climate.

A concern is the sturgeon may pose a danger to local fishes if they escape and survive in our river although the likelihood of a fish from the moderate climate surviving in the tropical river is slim.

A proper study should be conducted by the Fishery Department to address above mentioned concerns before a commercial scale of sturgeon breeding is approved and promoted by our government.

As seen in the Star, http://www.thestar.com.my/Opinion/Letters/2014/07/04/Amend-law-to-allow-in-sturgeon/

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