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BAGAN SERAI: The Malaysian golden arowana is set to splash its way into national heritage status.

The Fisheries Department, with the cooperation of Sirim Berhad, will introduce the highly-prized ornamental fish with Specification Standard DOF STA N1:2012 to categorise it as a national heritage.

Its director-general Datuk Ahamad Sabki Mahmood said the Specification Standard was vital for the national golden arowana breeding industry to maintain the product as one of the most expensive ornamental fish in the world.

Prize fish: The Malaysian golden arowana will be categorised as a national heritage.Prize fish: The Malaysian golden arowana will be categorised as a national heritage.

“In 2010, breeders nationwide produced 336,000 arowana fish or kelisavalued at RM151mil,” he said after opening a two-day Malaysian Golden Arowana Quality Standard Workshop at Bukit Merah here yesterday.

Of the total of arowana fish produced, between 10,000 and 15,000 were from breeders in Bukit Merah.

With the Specification Standard, unique features of the golden arowana would be made easier for identification compared to other arowana types in the market, thus preventing any cheating attempts, Ahamad Sabki said.

In a related development, he said the Fisheries Department and Sirim were developing an Arowana Identification Biosensor instrument to identify pure golden arowana species using scientific methods based on DNA.

“The biosensor is expected to be widely used next year,” he said, adding that this would be a boost for the ornamental fish breeding industry.

He said the country was expected to maintain its position as the leading producer of ornamental fish in the world. - Bernama