Thursday, February 19

Catfish business: the new craze in town!

For the past few months, we have been reading in papers about thousands of fish in Baleh and Belaga rivers dying mysteriously. Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB) controller Dr. Penguang Manggil says that the fish died of suffocation as their gills were clogged with mud.

However, Dr. Elie Luhat, a researcher, believes the fish died due to changed environment and in our ecological system as a result of human activities and the clearing of land for oil palm plantations.

Pollutants and chemicals coming from these oil palm plantations contribute to changes in our ecological system; thus fish, water plants and algae become victims of our development. In no time all our rivers are slowly and certainly being emptied of their contents. Birds and animals have long time ago left the scene.

Now the next victims are human beings especially those who live in the rural areas and along the river banks; their health are bound to be affected as fish and animals no longer can provide proteins for their diets; their social and cultural aspects and the education of their children will also be adversely affected. In other words, the future of rural dwellers is at stake.

As these are the result of “politics of development”, nothing we can do about the change in environment, about the depletion of the fish and the scarcity of animals and birds. Absolutely nothing we can do!

Nevertheless, in order to improve our proteins we can adopt the Federal Ministry of Agriculture’s “Buku Hijau” (Green Book) concept through which assistance can be provided to participants of the scheme.

Rearing of catfish (ikan keli) in the compound of our house is perhaps one way to enhance the supply of protein to our family and at the same time to help generate incomes for the family.

Catfish either the local breed, or from Thailand and South African is in great demand now, because catfish has been found to contain a larger amount of substance known as omega-3 fatty acids than found in salmon, tuna and other marine life such as algae. These acids are essential to human health, but cannot be manufactured by the body. For this reason, omega-3 fatty acids must be obtained from food such as catfish.

As I said that research has found out that our catfish has the finest omega-3 fatty acids which play a crucial role in brain function as well as normal growth and development. Those suffering from deficiency of these fatty acids have symptoms of extreme tiredness, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, depression and poor blood circulation.

A friend of mine, Gilbert Libu and 25 others have seriously involved themselves in catfish rearing. Their current stock which should be ready for sale in three months time is close to one million tails.

Libu himself has about 15,000 fish fry (tails) of catfish in one canvas pond. One fish fry costs between 10 cents and 15 cents. After the fish reach certain size, they will then be transferred to another canvas pond and a new stock of fish fry will be introduced to the first pond.

Within three months of purchasing the fry, they are expected to grow about 200 grams and 250 grams and are ready for sale at about RM5.00 a kilogram.

Libu and his group have signed a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with a certain company to sell their catfish to West Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and Singapore. Their average monthly harvest is expected to be around 50 tons worth about RM50,000.

According to Libu, a German company has expressed interest to set-up a company in Malaysia to turn the fleshy part of catfish into capsules, while the skins and bones will be manufactured into cosmetics.

Libu, however, warned that anyone having interest in catfish business must first undergo training and his group can provide such training together with the staff of the Department of Agriculture (DOE). For those residing in cities and towns, catfish rearers can use canvasses as their ponds.

Since he started the catfish business, many people from the rural areas have visited his ponds. He can be contacted at 012-8864659. The Broken Shield



Co-founder: Penemuruai said...

Good article. Yea..people talking about catfish here and there. Interesting. do you have any idea..where to get the fry..rm0.10 and rm0.15?
Best Regard;
The Founder of Penemuruai

Uchu Keling said...

Great job, Libu! Better than the construction business ehh ;)

Anonymous said...

Extra info, for those interested in catfish rearing I suggest that you attend a course. For your info.also the mortality rate can be quite alarming, can be as high as 40%.
For every fries it cost about 40 cent to reach maturity (within 3 months)and be sold as RM1.00 per piece, meaning you net 60 cents...lumayan juga.

Anonymous said...

Its worth food for a thought, rearing catfish is far better than venturing into unpredictable , labour and capital intensive oil palm.

Empayar Timor - "Your Partner in Agriculture" said...

We are from a company known as Empayar Timor ( based in Kuching that conducts courses such as Basic Catfish Rearing and Catfish Breeding. Further info on such courses can be found in our blog. We have catfish fries for sale, canvas setup etc...

Libu > Any chance of meeting up and visit your place to talk on the keli? I am Liew and my contact is 012-8890122.

Anonymous said...


Otherwise, Buaya Taib & Jabu will get angry and drag the business under the control of SEDC

If you refuse, your farms will be closed and your lands confiscated. Do farm also on NCR as they say NCR means No Customary Rights

Anonymous said...

New craze or another scam? Considering the mortality rate and the rate of returns, the only persons benefiting are the fry vendors. Not worth dumping any money in this venture. In another year, competitive breeders in Malaya will flood the market with catfish and by that time 50 cents will buy you one kilo. Dayaks have lived for generations without omega 3! The good news, some credit to Jabu is, Ikan "Jabu" is equally as nutritious if not better.

Dichoz said...

lol we are talking about rearing the catfish..why suddenly drag some political ppl inside?
btw this rearing catfish business still as hot as it used to be ?