The Golden Arowana - picture from The Star.The highly prized Malaysian golden arowana has been declared as the best golden arowana species in the world - and that's official. CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and Wild Fauna and Flora) had certified the species, which was unique to Malaysia, as the best in the world.
The Malaysian golden arowana (scleropages formosus) fetches the highest premium compared to other species. The Bintong Arowana Farm in Bukit Merah, Perak is the world's largest cluster of arowana fish farms. The Malaysian golden arowana species, also called kelisa emas, could only be found in the wild in Bukit Merah Lake and Sungai Kerian. It is not found elsewhere in Malaysia or any other country.
That is why Malaysians are demanding that other exporters from Singapore and Indonesia maintain the name Malaysian golden arowana. CITES had given export permits to breeders in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia only.
A young golden arowana, which was about 7cm to 10cm long, could fetch up to RM1,500. The fish can only be exported when they are more than 15cm long, which usually takes between six and seven months to grow to that length - the export price between RM2,500 and RM3,000 each.
Golden arowanas are fertile between the ages of three and 20 years, and the fish can live up to 50 years and grow up to a metre long.
There were 32 CITES licence holders in Malaysia.
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