Sagah (third left) showing the fish caught by the villagers.

PADAWAN: Sarawak will soon work closely with China through the Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (Salcra) to commercialise the Batang Ai tilapia fish in Lubok Antu, revealed Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah yesterday.

“According to MatQtra International, the quality of tilapia fish in Batang Ai is very high. Tilapia from other parts of the world cannot compete with the tilapia that we have in Batang Ai,” he added at the launching of Ga’aak Danu Festival here yesterday.

Uggah’s text of speech was read by the Native Land Development Assistant Minister Datuk Roland Sagah.

Sagah (in front), Jerip (behind Sagah) boarding a raft at Sungai Sarawak Kiri at Kampung Danu.

In his speech, the deputy chief minister added he had talks with the joint-venture group, MatQtra International, on the matter.

“The company intends to invest and form a collaborative framework with Salcra.

“It has brought several experts to conduct research on the Batang Ai tilapia fish and they found that the Batang Ai lake conditions are very suitable for the cultivation of quality tilapia fish.

“My ministry will hold further discussions with the company. This shows that we have a lot of potential for fish production and the aquaculture sector.

“We now have hydro lakes at Bakun, Murum and soon another one at Baleh. The potential of these three lakes has not been fully explored,” said Uggah.

Sagah (third left) showing the fish caught by the villagers.

Commenting on the tagang system, Uggah said it was well received by the people in interior Sarawak.

Uggah revealed over 23 tagang systems had been introduced throughout Sarawak.

“The tagang system is aimed at raising awareness about the conservation and commitment of local communities to increase the production of river fish for food and to promote eco-tourism.

“In addition, it will also control and reduce river pollution as well as preserve the natural environment for future generations,” he explained.

During the launch of Ga’aak Danu Festival yesterday, 200 Empurau fish were released into Sungai Sarawak Kiri at Kampung Danu.

Also present was the Ga’aak Danu patron and Transportation Assistant Minister Datuk Dr Jerip Susil.

Empurau fish being released into Sungai Sarawak Kiri at Kampung Danu.