I REFER to the letter, “Negative impact of fish farm” (The Star, July 3) by S. M. Mohamed Idris.
He has a valid point on the legal issue of importing sturgeon which is against the Fisheries Act 1985 – Fisheries Regulations (Prohibition of import etc, for fish) (Amendment) 2011.
The law has to be amended first before any party is allowed to import the species for any purpose. Felda, a GLC, has to abide by the law like any other company.
Actually, Felda is not the first company to bring sturgeon into Malaysia. There are other companies importing sturgeon for breeding purposes as reported in local newspapers some time ago.
Sturgeon from the fish farm is a commercial fish commonly available in the wet markets in China.
The fish is no longer on the brink of extinction and under the red alert protection list.
Caviar harvested from the sturgeon is a lucrative business, a new blue sea industry for Malaysia to escape from the middle-income trap.
Sturgeon breeding is no different than other fish breeding like African tilapia, an alien species, if the breeders have followed all licensing and technical requirements as stipulated by the Fishery Department.
Malaysia, a tropical country has an advantage for sturgeon breeding compared to their native land, as the fish grows faster in the hot climate.
There is concern that the sturgeon may pose a danger to local fish if they escape and survive in our rivers although the likelihood of the fish from the moderate climate surviving in the tropical river is slim.
A proper study should be conducted by Fishery Department to address above mentioned concerns before a commercial scale sturgeon breeding is approved and promoted by the Government.
N.K.Khoo Kuala Lumpur The STAR Home News Opinion Letters 04/07/2014