By Wilfred Pilo
KUCHING, Dec 9: A call has been made to the relevant authorities to find ways to commercialise bony freshwater fish such as the ‘ikan buing’ that are currently plentiful.
Fishmonger Kadat Abong, 53, who had been conducting business at the Kota Sentosa Wet Market for 20 years, said this species sells less because, unlike before, consumers have alternatives. Few would buy fish that has too many bones.
Kadat, who used to be a fisherman, cited that he is selling plenty of freshwater fish from the Bengoh Dam area, and one of the fish is the very bony ‘ikan buing’ — a freshwater fish that belongs to the Cyprinidae species.
He added that consumers would buy fish caught from the sea or bred in captivity like ponds, while some would prefer going to the supermarket instead of wet markets.
“City folk prefer to buy fish they are familiar with and usually have lesser bones, which is the opposite of this fish. My concern now is for fishmongers like me who bought (these fish) in bulk from suppliers and fishermen,” he said to DayakDaily when interviewed.
“If there is a way better to commercialise and preserve this fish species, it could sell better. With innovative food technology and experts, there must be a way to deal with this type of fish. It would be nice if it could be processed and canned.”
Kadat said he buys ‘ikan buing’ for RM9/kg from the supplier and sells about more than a kilogramme for RM10.
“If I cannot ‘sell’ it, it will be bought by those who want it for ‘kasam ikan’ (fermented or preserved fish), and I take whatever they offer me,” he said.
He added that ‘ikan buing’ is more known to those from rural areas as they know how to prepare the fish.
Elaborating further, Kadat said the fish is usually cooked in bamboo culm to be made into ‘pansuh’ or cooked with fermented durian paste for ‘tempoyak’.
It is also usually deep fried; if freshly caught, it will be made into fish soup. It can also be preserved with salt to become fermented fish that can be eaten anytime.
Therefore, he hoped that the authorities could come up with ways to better commercialise freshwater fish like ‘ikan buying’, ‘ikan banta’, ‘ikan dung’, ‘ikan junk’, ‘ikan piat’, and ‘ikan bangah’.
“I would want them to educate us fishmongers on how to make our business progress for better livelihoods,” he said. — DayakDaily