JERTIH, Sept 24 — The government, through the Fisheries Department, is actively working towards expanding the milkfish farming industry nationwide.

Fisheries Department director-general Datuk Adnan Hussain said milkfish has long been popular in other countries such as the Philippines and Indonesia, and demand in the domestic market has also increased over the years.

“The production of milkfish in this country has increased to 9,276 metric tonnes last year, compared to only 2,819 metric tonnes in 2021,” he told reporters after launching the Marine Fish Alternative Programme at the Tanjung Demong Fisheries Research Institute (IPP) here today.

He said that currently, only one company in Batu Lintang, Sungai Petani, Kedah is conducting milkfish farming on a commercial scale in this country.

However, it has to import milkfish fry from abroad, but the supply was still limited, he said.

Therefore, Adnan said the Tanjung Demong IPP had conducted research on milkfish fry and breeding to enhance the quality of broodstock.

“Starting from July 4, a total of 11 brood fish and 30,000 14-day-old fry were imported into Malaysia and bred at the Tanjung Demong IPP.

“As a result, the broodstock laid 100,000 eggs on August 3 and up to today, 4.6 million eggs have been produced,” said Adnan, who also presented milkfish fry to 10 marine fish farmers from Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang.

He also said that milkfish is easier to farm than other marine fish such as barramundi, grouper or snappers, and the department is targeting that by 2025, the milkfish supply will be able to meet the high demand for marine fish in the country. — Bernama