Assalamualaikum wr wb
Rakan penggilai ikan kelah sekalian,
Berikut adalah sorotan akhbar New Straits Times menyorot usaha penternakan ikan kelah kami.
Terima kasih diucapkan kepada NST kerana sudi untuk menerbitkan berita yang bertajuk:
“Firm eager to breed endangered kelah”
They say the rare and much sought-after kelah or the Malaysian mahseer, cannot be bred in captivity.
Now, a local company is eyeing the possibility of encouraging these shy fish to mate and breed by providing them with the right environment.
Fitrah Biotech Farm in Kampung Tualang Kudung is a small family-run operation dealing in the rearing and supplying of wild kelah fry, which are sourced from Kuala Krai, Gua Musang and Jeli.
Fadhil Noor Hadi Ahmad, 21, who took over the management from his father and founder Ahmad Abdul Rahman, said they had plans to develop a piece of land near a waterfall in the effort to recreate the fish’s habitat.
He hopes the project would ensure future supply of the endangered fish, whose sale is banned in Terengganu and Pahang.
Also known as the King of the River Fish, kelah is a revered game fish and sought by food connoisseurs for its exquisite taste.
Each fry costs between RM10 and RM20, while a mature one takes about two years to grow.
A dead one for the table can fetch about RM100 a kilogramme, while a live one is much more expensive.
Its beautiful and shiny scales have also made it a popular aquarium fish, fast replacing the arowana.
For the aquarium, the fish are normally more than one kilogramme and can cost more than RM1,000 each.
Fadhil, who has been taking care of the fish fry since he was 14, said the new project would start soon but refused to reveal its actual cost.
“The fish can breed in rivers and waterfalls as they need fast-running water. We want to do this project as the fish population is dwindling.
Fadhil said there are three types of kelah found in the peninsula — white, red and blue.
The reds are favoured for both the table and aquarium, while the blue kelah are rare.
Fadhil said his father started Fitrah Biotech Farm in 2000 as he was a fan of the kelah and wanted other people to enjoy rearing the fish,” he said.
“It is actually quite easy to rear as they feed on many things including pellet, kangkong, tapioca shoots, oil palm fruits and worms.
“The only important thing is to make sure that the water is always running,” he said.
The farm currently has seven ponds capable of storing more than 10,000 fry. Upon orders, he said, the fry are transported direct to the buyers.
Fadhil said they had 10 catchers in Jeli, Gua Musang and Kuala Krai supplying them with an average of 1,000 fry each week.
“If we have big orders, we will inform them. Our orders fluctuate from 300 to 10,000 each month,” he said.
He said sales have risen since the launch of the website (www.ikankelah.com) that was designed by his elder sister, Nur Zuraimi, early this year.
“We have received orders almost daily since starting the website. We also get orders from Brunei, Sabah and Sarawak but we have not been able to cater to them yet,” he said.
Fadhil has also started rearing kelah for the aquarium since early this year to fulfil requests from customers for bigger-sized kelah.
“We have about 2,000 kelah that we will be keeping for about two years, by which time they will get to weigh about a kilogramme each, just right for the aquarium.”