SPAOH: Yellow puffer fish (Xenopterus naritus) or commonly known as Ikan buntal can be Spaoh potential food export and tourism product.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said the Batang Saribas is well known for the fish during its spawning season from June until September.
He said this when officiating at the annual Pesta Buntal or Pufferfish Fest at Kampung Manggut here today.
He said the pufferfish is a very special fish which requires careful preparation to remove the deadly poison in its blood vessels and egg membrance.
“But the locals here can do this very well.
“In Japan the fish is a specialty dish and people are ready to pay a lot of money to taste it at high end restaurants,” he said.
Uggah suggested for a study to be carried out to ensure its long term survival.
“We have to know its spawning areas along the Batang Saribas so as not to disturb such spots or removing the sand there,” he said.
If we could do these and the long term supply is ensured we could develop the fish as a unique food and tourism product, he said.
Meanwhile he said, the state Public Work Department would be requested to prepare a more condusive site to host future festival.
He then announced a allocation of RM30,000 to the festival committee which was topped up with another RM30,000. from Datuk Robert Lawson Chuat who is Betong member of parliament and RM25,000 from Saribas state assemblyman Mohammad Razi Sitam.
Both were present at the function.
Later Uggah also launched the Gabungan Parti Sarawak(GPS) for the Saribas DUN level.
He cautioned the people against the presence of outsiders coming to discredit the state GPS government and to diunite the people with their selfish propagandas.
Uggah reminded them that the GPS was formed to protect the state rights and wealth.
He added it was also to chart out and expediate the state own development programmes and plans.
Uggah then presented prizes to winners of the regatta event which is the highlight of the festival.