SERDANG: The Fisheries Department has been awarded two certificates by the Malaysia Book of Records, setting two new benchmarks for cockle breeding.
The records were for setting the Longest Natural Cockle Seeding Season lasting 18 months and the Largest Landing of Natural Cockle Seeds in one season from Nov 4, 2019 to May 31, 2021 on the Teluk Lekir coast in Perak.
Deputy Agriculture and Food Industries Minister I Datuk Seri Ahmad Hamzah said the awards were the result of a study by the Fisheries Research Institute (FRI) in 2009 which evaluated the suitability of proposed cockle farming sites in addition to bathymetry studies in an effort to understand current conditions at bottom depth, temperature change trends and salinity of the seawater.
"The department has successfully demonstrated a temperature shock method capable of inducing cockle seeding in the laboratory.
"In 2018, a total of 10,000kg of mature cockles of various sizes were sown at the Lekir Cockle Farming Project, recording a total landing of 238.89 tonnes of cockle seeds the following year," he said after presenting the MBOR certificates to Fisheries Malaysia director-general Mohd Sufian Sulaiman in conjunction with the Malaysian Agriculture, Horticulture and Agrotourism Exhibition 2022 at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) on Sunday (Aug 14).
Before the implementation of the study, 20.97 tonnes of cockle seeds were produced in the area was in 2016 and 2017.
Ahmad said there are three methods of induced seeding of cockles used in the study – physical, chemical and biological induction.
"Three models related to induction seeding have been proposed, which are the Suggested Location of Induced Seeding, the Suggested Season of Induced Seeding and the Suggested Location of Sowing Seeds," he said.
Meanwhile, Ahmad said the DOF is also planning to develop a faster cockle farming technique to reduce the period of breeding to between eight and 12 months compared to the current method which takes 18 to 24 months.
He hoped that the country's cockle industry could be revived and that Malaysia would once again become the largest producer of cockles in Southeast Asia. – Bernama