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Johor to produce Beluga caviar


PREMIUM DEAL: The Johor Bio-Technology Corp project will see sturgeon fish being bred at the Bio-Desaru Food Valley

MUAR: JOHOR will become a major producer of the high-grade Beluga caviar when the anadromous fish from the sturgeon family is bred at the  Bio-Desaru Food Valley in Kota Tinggi.

A memorandum of understanding was signed recently between St Petersburg University in Russia and the Johor Bio-Technology Corp on research works to breed the premium species.

 The company chief executive officer Datuk Dr Haris Salleh, said that a huge allocation will be given for this project although the amount has yet to be ascertained.

He said the international market price for this species of caviar could reach between  RM20,000 to RM25,000 per kilogramme.

 He said the species which originated from central Asia  and Ukraine will be bred in a reservoir of  recycled water at the Food Valley in Desaru.

 “The university will provide the equipment to breed the fish,” said Haris at the Sungai Abong sub-district coordinating committee’s Hari Raya do recently.

Haris, who is also the special officer for Johor Menteri Besar, said the fish will lay eggs every five years.

 “In an uncontrolled environment, it will take up to 20 years for the fish to produce eggs under Caesarean surgery.”  He said China and Vietnam had also embarked on the project.  “Caviar is a costly fine-dining cuisine often served to the elites.”

Haris said  the Food Valley will also breed  giant clams, grouper fishs,  white prawns, sea cucumbers and seahorses.

 He said the projects will be carried out in indoor ponds.   

However, the giant clam breeding project will be near Pulau Aur and Pulau Dayang.

Datuk Dr Haris Salleh (standing, third from left) greeting guests at the Hari Raya open house. Pix by Shaiffulazhar Misri

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