KUCHING: Scientific studies have shown that the male Terubuk or big-mouthed shad, also known as tenualosa toli, can change into a female when it reaches maturity.
Sarawak Agriculture Department director Datuk Lai Kui Fong said the fish had been registered as geographical indication (GI) by the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO).
The GI certificate for the big-mouthed Tenualosa toli was presented to the Sarawak Informa-tion Technology and Resources Council on May 12 this year.
This endemic species, as revealed by scientific studies, was protandous hermaphrodite, which means the male can evolve into a female when it reaches maturity, said Lai.
He said the delicious and sweet-tasting fish could only be found in the coastal waters of Sarawak, stretching from Sematan to Lawas.
“The breeding grounds are at the estuary of Batang Lupar, Sri Aman, and Batang Lassa, Mukah, with two breeding seasons per year,” he said.
Lai said the big-mouthed shad could easily be distinguished from other species such as the sea water tenualosa macrura, which is small-mouthed, has smooth scales, an elongated body and a long tail. — Bernama