Discovery Channel to film Sarawak’s empurau

KUCHING: A Discovery Channel team will be in the state to film a documentary on the highly prized empurau fish .

Farmer-scientist Dr Elli Luhat, who is involved in empurau breeding, said his farm in Kuching would host the crew at the end of this month.

From there, he said they would move on to the interior, possibly somewhere near Bakun, to film empurau in their natural habitat as well as document recipes for the fish.

“Empurau is our legacy.

“This is a chance to show our legacy to the world. Apart from showing the methods used by the Dayaks to catch the fish, we want to show how the empurau affects the Dayak communities,” said Elli.

Elli has been rearing empurau since 2006 in several ponds at his farm in Taman Satria Jaya BDC, mainly for research purposes.

Empurau breed in the wild in streams and rivers mainly in the Kapit Division, although some are also found in Limbang Division and Ulu Baram.

The market price for 1kg of empurau can be between RM300 and RM500.

It is believed that empurau caught in Kapit Division fetches higher prices because of its taste.

There are three common local species — white, red and black — and the market preference for the white variety has also pushed up its price. Empurau is much sought after by the Chinese community, who regard it as a symbol of prestige, prosperity and longevity.

This type of fish is also known as mahseer or ikan kelah in the peninsula.

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