Prawncatcher II

Another email from WK Choo today:

Attached are the different types of prawns caught today;

1. tiger prawn – caught occasionally and the highest number caught so far were about 20++ one day by three other residents together.

2. white prawn – form about 95% of our catches

3. udang galah – the one we normally caught were the smaller size and the one in the photo is exceptional big so far..

Tiger prawn at left; Udang Galah at right

I would just comment on the Udang Galah which is the prawn used for poplular but expensive noodle dish, Sang Har Mien.

The Udang Galah (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) in Sungai Langat is a surprise and anything found here is likely to be tiny. This species is regarded as a freshwater prawn but  it does spend the first 22-35 days of its lifecycle in brackish water (the larval stage) and thereafter it migrates up river for its adult life cycle. They return to brackish waters to spawn typically at at the estuary where the river water meets the sea and hence the brackish definition (can be up to 17 parts per thousand of salt content). Kuala Rompin is well known for this udang but supplies have dwindled over the years. Farmed udang galah in Malaysia are terrible. I was very surprised when an official of Seafdec in the Philippines told me it was a Malaysian who had successfully pioneered the hatchery operations for this prawn. Well, Burma, Thailand and Indonesia have far surpassed Malaysia in the production and supply of this prawn.

I have tested the water in Sungai Langat which is near sea water strength, hence my surprise. Those found here have adapted to the environment but since the conditions for the growth of this udang are far from  ideal, whatever found here are likely to be small.

The prawn in the picture is a ‘small male’, marked by its tiny claws. It is a midget by its natural standards.

Hmmmm. Too much seafood can cause the cholesterol level in the blood to rise. Beware.

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