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Friday, October 29, 2010

Humpheads - seen one?

Another sad story of a innocent species being overexploited, just for us to put on table.......sustainable farming is urgently needed...and also the cooperation from all of us..Don't you think so?
next time, THINK of the consequences before putting anything into our mouth..

"In Kudat, like in the Sabahan coastal towns of Tawau, Sandakan and Lahad Datu, fishermen continue to haul in humpheads (Cheilinus undulatus). Several times a week, these fish and the popular groupers, are bundled alive into air-filled plastic bags which are then packed into polystyrene boxes, transported to Kota Kinabalu, and sent on the evening flight to Hong Kong or Singapore. It is a time-perfected technique which gets seafood, alive and swimming, into restaurants.
Sabah exported 27,000 tails of humphead last year – an alarming figure since scientists believe wild humphead stocks in Sabah waters are almost exhausted and aggressive fishing can only doom the species.
Once a normal table fish, humpheads (or su mei) somehow acquired a luxury tag in the early 1990s. Those who want to flaunt their wealth and success would indulge in this pricey fish in restaurants in Hong Kong, Singapore, China and Malaysia. What used to sell for RM30 a kg in 1980 now goes for RM250 to RM300 a kg. Soon a scramble for the fish ensued.
Dwindling stocks
There are already signs that Asians’ taste for steamed su mei is depleting wild stocks.
“Sabah’s export of the high-value fish last year, although high, was just over half of the allowable quota. This can mean two things – either humphead populations are not really that big or the species has been over-fished,” says Tan.
Marine scientist Dr Steve Oakley warns that netting young fish before they have had a chance to breed will curtail future stocks of the species. Insisting on size restrictions for humphead harvests, he says breeding adult fish should be left in the sea. Better yet, he adds, humphead fisheries should be closed until it can be proven sustainable.
Lax enforcement, together with difficulties in patrolling Sabah’s 1,600km of coastline and extensive fishing area of 51,360 sq km, share the blame for the prevalent fish smuggling.
“Humpheads are even more endangered than orang utans because there are more orang utans in Sabah forests than humpheads in its waters. But you can still eat the fish in a KK (Kota Kinabalu) restaurant. We are decimating this species for a poor reason ... merely to put a fish on the table.”
To safeguard humphead trade, Sabah Fisheries has held several workshops to inform traders about the risks of over-fishing and Cites requirements. Come July, a new – and most likely lower – export quota is expected. But are there enough humpheads left in the wild to repopulate our reefs? In the end, the fate of this fish hangs on just one simple gesture from peopledon’t order su mei for dinner."


Oney Nurislam said...


CeeKeen said...


Hairil Rizal said...

Wah Kyle, with a that kind of price tag, surely I will not order one!


Anyway, anything endangering the environment needs to stop though this one is hard...since it involves very good income from selling them!

Askry said...

nevermind.. when the fish is gone, they also lost their business.. and that time no Su Mei in the menu to sell anymore.. padan muka diaorang..

*cimOt* said...

humpheads sedap ka??