By Ko Moe
Increasing the numbers of butterfish, or Nga-Myin, which fetch a good price in Japan and other countries, is being undertaken in a fish farming centre in Twantay Township, Yangon, according to the Fishery Department of Yangon Region.
At the fish farming centre, butterfish are being bred through artificial insemination, officials said. The hatched fish will then be released into lakes, streams and rivers.
“In Twantay, it is being done to conserve the Nga-Myin fish species, especially to have fish injected and then to release them after injection”, said U Tun Win Myint, head of Yangon Region Fishery Department. “We must wait for one-and-a-half years or two years more for these small fish to grow and reach the needed size.” High-quality butterfish/Nga-Myin fetches Ks15,000 to Ks20,000 per viss in the market, especially when exported to foreign markets.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japan University and Yangon University are working together to breed and propagate the butterfish species to the specifications of the Japanese, according to the Yangon Region Fishery Department.
“They took tissue samples in July for the conservation of the butterfish species. Japan is carrying out the task of breeding through their methods”, U Tun Win Myint said.
The domestic breeding of profitable regional fish species — butterfish, catfish, snakehead fish and Nga-Gyee, has so far been termed a success, officials said.
U Tun Win Myint noted that necessary reforms still need to be accomplished in accord with current situations to be able to export fish to foreign countries and for long-term development.
“Regarding fishermen, they need to abide by designated times and disciplines. And they need to change from their traditional fish breeding system into modern ones,” said the head of the regional department.
The regional government is making efforts to upgrade the fishery industries, including fish breeding, production of feed for fish, and fish freezing storage rooms.
In the 2016-2017 financial year, exports from fisheries fetched US$600 million. From the start of the current fiscal year until July, $150 million has been earned.