DUNGUN: More than 300,000 fish fry of various species were released to selected locations throughout the state from January to June this year, said the state Agriculture, Agro-Based Industry, Food Security and Commodities Committee chairman Dr Azman Ibrahim.

He said that it was carried out in collaboration with the state Fisheries Department to boost fish resources and inland fishing stocks.

He said that among the species of freshwater fish that are being gradually released into rivers, lakes and ponds are kelah (mahseer), patin (silver catfish), lampam (tinfoil barb), baung (hemibagrus nemurus), haruan (snakehead) as well as high-quality udang galah (giant freshwater prawn).

“For this year we aim to release 500,000 fish fry in stages through 16 series of programmes that will end in September.

“This is an increase compared with last year, which was around 300,000 fish fry,” he said after the release of 15,000 lampam fry, by Golden Pharos Bhd, to Sungai Jongok Batu in Hulu Dungun, here today.

Also present were state Fisheries Department director, Ruzaidi Mamat and Golden Pharos Bhd chairman, Datuk Yahaya Ali.

Azman said that the release of fish fry aims to enrich inland fisheries resources, and has had a positive impact, with the number of freshwater fish landings found to increase, from 163 tonnes in 2022 to 190 tonnes in 2023.

To boost the state’s fisheries sector, a kelah sanctuary, Sesohor Setiu Fish Sanctuary, was established in Lata Ulu Kasar, he added.

He said that apart from being a fish breeding ground, the sanctuary can also serve as a tourist attraction, thus generating economic resources for the local population.

“This sanctuary is the second after the kelah sanctuary in Sungai Petang, Kenyir Lake. We released 700 high-quality kelah merah (red mahseer) fry in the sanctuary last week.

“For the next project we plan to create a fish sanctuary in Lata Tembakah, Besut, which is strategically located,” he said.