TEMERLOH: The Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry targets to produce aquaculture fish products valued at over RM270mil this year from Pahang, particularly Temerloh which is synonymous with the patin fish cage culture.
Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman said so far this year, Temerloh had produced over 14,000 tonnes of various species of fish including patin and tilapia from its 2,018 cage culture units run by 283 operators.He also said freshwater fish from rivers contributed to 560 tonnes of landings valued at RM2.2mil as of July this year, of which 12.5 tonnes valued at over RM60,000 came from Temerloh.“Fish cage culture in Temerloh, practised since 2008, is one of the biggest and most successful in Malaysia, and has been the district’s trademark.“We want the production of Temerloh patin to rise to 20,000 tonnes by 2020,” he said.
He called on the fishermen and fish cage breeders in Temerloh to “move forward” and join the agro-tourism industry so they do not stagnate and only depend 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 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 taking them in boats on river trips.“But this has to be done well and in an organised manner so 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 other relevant ministries to organise international fishing competitions in the district as a way of promoting Temerloh and its fishes.
He said this after a get-together and distribution of Touch Point aid to Temerloh fishermen.At the event, he presented fish feed worth RM187,000 to 125 fish breeders as well as a special El Nino aid of RM47,000 to 94 entrepreneurs affected by the disaster.
He also announced the donation of two bucket reels costing 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 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.
Pahang tourism and culture committee chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Sharkar Shamsudin was also present at the event. — Bernama