Thursday, April 17, 2008

Fresh Water Fish

Special Issue of Postage Stamps on Fresh Water Fish

Date of Issue: 1983-06-15
Denominations: 2 x 20 cents, 2 x 40 cents
Stamp Sizes: 24.5mm x 39mm
Paper: White unwatermarked security postage stamp paper
Printing Process: Offset Lithography
Printer: Security Printers (M) Sdn. Bhd. Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Sheet Composition: 100 stamps

Stamps in the Series:

First Day Cover

Fresh Water Fish
Fresh water fish culture in Malaysia, which began about 50 years ago, only saw rapid expansion after 1957. The pond acreage in Peninsular Malaysia increased from 146 hectares in 1957 to 1,500 hectares in 1967 and to about 5,221 hectares in 1980.
The decline in fish catch from our coastal and river waters in recent years has contributed to the significant development of fresh water fish culture in the country. The total annual output of aquaculture produce from all sources in the country in 1980 was about 139,363 tons and fresh water fish culture alone amounted to 8,298 tons or about 6% of the total production.
There is still considerable potential or scope for the future development of fresh water fish culture in the country. Fresh water fish culture is expected to play an important role in the future as a major source of protein food needs. In the inland areas where marine fish are not easily available, culture fish is especially important as a source of protein.

In view of the vast potential for the future development of fresh water fish culture in the country and in view of the fact that the supply of fish seed is no longer a major problem, the production of fresh water fish can be expected to increase tremendously. However, the marketing aspect of fresh water fish still poses certain problems to the industry; to tackle this problem the Federal Agricultural and Marketing Authority (FAMA) with the cooperation of the Fisheries Department has launched a campaign to encourage the consumption of fresh water fish.
Several species of fresh water fish are being cultured in Malaysia. There include Bighead Carp, Grass Carp, Common Carp, Indonesian Carp, Rohu, Tilapia, Sepat Siam, Prawn, Ketutu and Patin. Except for Ketutu and Patin, the rest of the fresh water fish are usually bred under the polyculture system so as to fully utilize the pond resources.
Details regarding the various fish as depicted in the stamps are given below.
20c denomination
Scientific Name: Cyprinus Carpio (Linn.)
Common Name: Lee Koh, Ikan Tongsan Pendik, Common Carp
The origins of the Common Carp can be traced to China but it is now found in other parts of Asia, Europe and the United States of America. Being a species of river fish, it is suitable for breeding in ponds. It is believed that Chinese immigrants originally brought the fish to this country.
Its compressed body, broad head and small protruding eyes characterize common Carp. The snout is long and blunt with the mouth slanting slightly downwards. Two pairs of barbels are located on the upper jaw with the lower pair longer than the upper pair. The Common Carp can reach up to over 30 kilograms in natural water. The fish is greenish yellow in color with slight reddish tints on the lower half of the caudal fin. The Common Carp can be of a red or golden yellow color as well.
Common Carp cultured in ponds when fed a supplementary diet, can reach a weight of 0.9 to 1.2 kilograms within a year of breeding. This fish can continue to spawn up to six years but for breeding purposes, it is advisable that the male fish can be over a year old and the female be over 1.5 years old before they are allowed to breed.
The fish fry feeds upon zooplankton. As the fish reaches 8 to 10 cm in length, it feeds mostly on aquatic insects and worms in the pond including detritus (decayed vegetable matter) and epiphytic plankton. The fish disturbs the pond bottom for food which causes the water to become turbid. The fish can also be fed supplementary food like rice bran, coconut meal and peanut meal.

20c denomination
Scientific Name: Tilapia Nilotica (Linn.)
Common Names: Tilapia nilotica, Tilapia, Nile Tilapia
The Tilapia has its origins in Africa but owing to its hardiness and prolific breeding ability, it was introduced to fish culturists in Malaysia. It is a fast growing fish and bred in fertile ponds, it can grow to weigh half a kilogram within six months.
The lateral line of the fish is divided into two parts with the upper and lower sections having 22 and 15 scales respectively. There are vertical lines on the body, caudal fin, dorsal fin and pelvic fin. The color of the fish is a mixture of silverfish green and brownish green with a purplish blue tint. The caudal fin has a slight red margin. The fish when full grown, can reach a length of 40cm.
Essentially, the Tilapia is lighter is color as compared to the male fish which is more pronounced in color. The female fish has three orifices namely the anus, the oviduct and the urethra while the male has only two orifices namely the anus and the urethra. The Tilapia lays eggs which are fertilized externally and then hatched in the mouth by the female.
40c denomination

Scientific Name: Ctenopharyngodon idellus (C.V.)
Common Name: Kap Rumput, Kap Makan Rumput, Ikan Chow, Chow Hu, Grass Carp
The Grass Carp which has its origin in China, was brought here by the Chinese immigrants for breeding in fresh water ponds. This species belongs to the Chinese major carp family and cannot spawn naturally in ponds. Seeds are therefore, imported from China by local fish dealers through Hong Kong. It is a popular fish among fish culturist.
Its elongated and compressed body characterizes the Grass Carp. The head is broad with a short round snout. The lateral line has a total of 42 scales. The back portion of its body is blackish green while its belly is silver in color. This fish reacts approximately 120 cm in length when full grown.
The Grass Carp is larger than the Indonesian Carp or Common Carp. It is a fast growing fish with its weight increasing to about 2.5 to 3 kilograms by the end of the first year of breeding. This fish is commonly bred together with other fish such as the Bighead Carp, Silver Carp, Indonesian Carp and the Common Carp.
It is suitable for breeding in ponds with plenty of aquatic weeds. As supplementary diet, the fish can also be fed on cut grass or leaves of yam, sweet potato and tapioca together with fish bread (a compound of rice bran, wheat flour and peanut meal). Nitrogen Phosphate Potash (NPK) compound fertilizers can also be added to the less fertile ponds to encourage the growth of waterweeds and plankton.

40c denomination
Scientific Name: Puntius gonionotus (Blkr.)
Common Name: Lampam Jawa, Indonesian Carp
This fish was first introduced to fish culturists in this country in 1958 by the Fisheries Department. It is a river whose origins can be traced to Java, Indonesia.
The Indonesian Carp can be recognized by its strongly compressed elongated body and elevated dorsal profile. Its barbels are very minute and short while the fish itself measures approximately 50 cm in length. There are 5.5 scales below the lateral line and 3 to 3.5 scales in between the lateral line and the beginning of the pelvic fin. The lateral line is well developed and has a total of 29 to 31 scales. The fish is silver in color but its back is slightly darker in color. It is a fish suitable for culture in fresh water ponds and can reach a weight of approximately 0.6 to 0.9 kilograms within a breeding period of one year.
In the rivers of Java, which are its natural habitat, the spawning takes place during the rainy season. However, in ponds at the various Fisheries Breeding Stations under controlled conditions, spawning takes place throughout the year. During the larvae stage, the fish feeds on unicellular algae and zooplankton. However as the fish grows bigger, it feeds on aquatic weeds, leaves and soft grass. Rice bran, peanut meal and coconut meal can also be utilized as supplementary diet for the fish.

No comments: