Sabah map

Friday, July 25, 2008

The People of Sabah

The people of Sabah comprises several ethnic groups. Among them are the Kadazandusun, Bajau, Murut, Kedaya, Bisaya, Irranun, Rungus, Kimarang, Kwijau, Lundayeh, Ubian, Binadan, Orang Sungai, Tatana, Tagaas, Brunei, Suluk and others.

The most notable difference among the various ethnic groups are their dialects, religions, customs, and way of life which includes their traditional costumes.

The use of traditional costumes can be seen from two periods of time, that is the classical and modern periods. In the classical period, traditional costumes were worn during rituals, weddings as well as daily wear. In modern times, traditional costumes are only worn at special occasions like weddings and traditional functions.

Most ethnic groups in Sabah use black as the dominant colour of their traditional costumes. The use of black stems from the belief that black is a godly colour and represents power that will protect the user from the bad spirits. Other beliefs state that the use of black is synonymous with the way of life and natural conditions at that particular time.


The recent creation of the Tun Mustapha Park (TMP) in the northern waters of Sabah, Malaysia has brought up the need for understanding the coral reef fisheries system in Pulau Banggi, for which there has been no previous documentation. This study draws upon field data collected in June and August 2004 to accomplish two things, namely, to build a profile of the ecological and socio-economic aspects of Pulau Banggi's reef fisheries, and undertake a preliminary assessment of the status of these fisheries. This research is important because it provides information that will help managers develop policies for the long-term ecological and socio-economic sustainability of Pulau Banggi's reef fisheries.

Article Outline

sabah map courtesy of sabah tourism board

Malaysia has been mentioned as one the best 9 countries in the world to visit during the year 2008 by Lonely Planet. Sabah, the darling of Malaysia, has a wealth of Nature Paradise to offer to the travellers.

Tropical jungle, wild animals, nature beauty, white sandy beaches, diving paradise, sport adventure, enchanting seafood, friendly people: these are the main attractions that draw travellers from all around the world to this beautiful land called Sabah, also known as the Land Below The Wind.

Located at latitude N 4° to 7° and longtitude E 115° to 117°, Sabah has a tropical climate which means summer all year round. The seasons here is government by the monsoons. Sabah is an eco-treasures paradise from mountain high to deep ocean, and couple with the relaxing pace of its people, probably is the best place in Asia to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

The Asian craving for a particular reef fish is emptying our seas.

HUNDREDS of fish cages bob up and down in the waters of Marudu Bay, off Kudat in Sabah. In these cages are sought-after marine delicacies such as groupers, lobsters and crabs, as well as a staggering number of humphead wrasses.

From the massive number of humpheads holed up in the floating pens, it is impossible to tell that this is a fish species classed as “endangered” by the IUCN-World Conservation Union and whose trade is governed by the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species (Cites).
A growing appetite for humphead wrasses (or Napoleon wrasse) has spelt doom for this species, whose numbers in the wild, already small, are being depleted further.

In Kudat, like in the Sabahan coastal towns of Tawau, Sandakan and Lahad Datu, fishermen continue to haul in humpheads (Cheilinus undulatus). Several times a week, these fish and the popular groupers, are bundled alive into air-filled plastic bags which are then packed into polystyrene boxes, transported to Kota Kinabalu, and sent on the evening flight to Hong Kong or Singapore. It is a time-perfected technique which gets seafood, alive and swimming, into restaurants.

Sabah exported 27,000 tails of humphead last year – an alarming figure since scientists believe wild humphead stocks in Sabah waters are almost exhausted and aggressive fishing can only doom the species.

Once a normal table fish, humpheads (or su mei) somehow acquired a luxury tag in the early 1990s. Those who want to flaunt their wealth and success would indulge in this pricey fish in restaurants in Hong Kong, Singapore, China and Malaysia. What used to sell for RM30 a kg in 1980 now goes for RM250 to RM300 a kg. Soon a scramble for the fish ensued.

Before long, fears of over-fishing pushed humpheads onto Appendix II of Cites in October 2004 – the first coral reef fish to be listed. Everyone thought all would be well since trade would now be controlled through import and export permits.

On the contrary, the Cites listing has done little for humpheads in Sabah as trade quotas remain high. Many are stumped by the export ration set by Sabah Fisheries Department last February – a monthly 200 tails for each of the 19 exporters. This works out to 45,600 tails annually, a figure deemed excessive by many, considering that it is five times Indonesia’s annual quota of 8,900 tails.

“There is concern over how the export quota was set as the amount of humphead wrasse exported last year is even higher than that before the Cites listing,” says Maritime Institute of Malaysia (MIMA) senior researcher Tan Kim Hooi, who has written a policy document on humphead wrasse fisheries.

Doubts also arose over the scientific rationale behind the quota. A Cites Appendix II listing requires a non-detrimental finding (NDF) study to determine that trade will not threaten survival of the species. This study is only now being done.

Sabah Fisheries, World Wide Fund for Nature and wildlife trade monitoring body, Traffic, are assessing wild humphead populations in Pulau Lankayan, Kudat and Semporna. They are expected to recommend a new export quota when the present one expires in June.

Dwindling stocks

There are already signs that Asians’ taste for steamed su mei is depleting wild stocks.

“Sabah’s export of the high-value fish last year, although high, was just over half of the allowable quota. This can mean two things – either humphead populations are not really that big or the species has been over-fished,” says Tan.

Also, Sabahan fishermen and traders all tell the same tale about the fish they call mameng: the catch has dropped as have fish sizes, when compared to the 90s.

“Ten years ago, I can get several fish of 10kg to 15kg in a week. Now, not even one in a month,” says Kudat fish trader Wong Sin Hin. Today, the harvest is mostly juvenile fish which have to be fattened up in pens over three months or more, to reach the preferred plate size of 500g to 1kg (about 30-40cm in length) before shipment.
Hundreds of fish cages bobbing up and down in the waters of Marudu Bay, off Kudat in Sabah. In these cages are sought-after marine delicacies such as groupers, lobsters and crabs as well as a staggering number of humpheads. These fish will be exported live to Hong Kong and Singapore.

Marine scientist Dr Steve Oakley warns that netting young fish before they have had a chance to breed will curtail future stocks of the species. Insisting on size restrictions for humphead harvests, he says breeding adult fish should be left in the sea. Better yet, he adds, humphead fisheries should be closed until it can be proven sustainable.

Oakley, whose group the Tropical Research And Conservation Centre (Tracc) has surveyed reefs in Sabah and Sarawak, believes humpheads are locally extinct over most of the South China Sea. Viable breeding populations exist in two islands protected by dive tourism: Sipadan and Layang-Layang. Another healthy group exists off Brunei – but only because it is within the Champion oil field, a protected “no fishing” zone. Tracc surveys of Layang-Layang between 1996 and 2002 found a big humphead population of 300 females, 21 males and 100 sub-adults. However, the fish were not seen last year. The reason, Oakley fears, could be because a Chinese vessel was allowed to fish there.

For now, Sabah’s humphead catch figures remain impressive only because stocks are coming from the Philippines, which does not trade in the fish. Traders and fishermen in Kudat attest to this and the fact that Filipino fishers use cyanide to stun the fish, a destructive fishing method that can kill them as well as harm other marine life and the fragile coral reef habitat.

Lax enforcement, together with difficulties in patrolling Sabah’s 1,600km of coastline and extensive fishing area of 51,360 sq km, share the blame for the prevalent fish smuggling.

As humpheads from foreign waters are traded as Sabah’s, Tan of Mima says a generous export quota will deplete humphead stocks not only in Malaysian waters, but also in Indonesia and the Philippines. Already, high demand and lucrative prices have fuelled poaching.

In December 2006, a Chinese vessel was detained at Tubbataha Marine Park in Palawan, the Philippines, with 800 live fish onboard, including 300 humpheads. In the same year, the Bunaken Marine Park in northern Sulawesi saw three cases of poaching involving 207, 450 and 36 humpheads.

Indonesia had set an annual export of 8,000 tails in 2005 but revised it to 8,900 tails last year, and only allows harvest from specified areas, namely Papua, Maluku and Nusa Tenggara.




| Kapalai | Pulau Mabul | Pulau Sipadan |
Selingan Turtle Island | Mataking Island |
Tuaran | Lankayan Island |

gambar ikan

Ikan Kelab Memancing Tawau Sabah

Brook Trout

Also called “squaretail” or “speckled trout,” the brook trout requires well-oxygenated cold water, 68 degrees or less. It canbrook_trout.gif be found in meadow brooks, rivers, streams and ponds. The brookie is easily caught with flies or small spinners. Earthworms are the most effective live bait.

Due to the low levels of nutrients in the water bodies housing brookies, they are short-lived and rarely exceed 6 inches in length. Sixty remote ponds are stocked with fingerling brook trout and are managed for put-grow-and-take. It is possible to catch a 4-pound trout in some of these ponds, due to the light fishing pressure they receive.

Rainbow Trout

The rainbow trout thrives best in cold water, but can withstand temperatures up to 77 degrees if the water is well aerated. This species is well adapted to lakes and streams. Any trout fishing method can be used to catch rainbows. Spinners, flies, rainbow_trout.gifsmall spoons and bait are effective. The usual size of rainbows found in streams and ponds is between 6 and 12 inches and less than one pound. In larger lakes, however, 3-5 pound rainbows can be caught.

Brown Trout

Temperatures between 65 and 70 degrees are best for brown trout. They are found in deep, quiet pools or in the lower sections of streams that are slower moving and usually warmer.brown_trout.gif
In New Hampshire, brown trout are usually between 7 and 14 inches and weigh less than one pound. However, it is not uncommon to find fish that weigh between 2 and 4 pounds. After reaching about 12 inches, they feed almost solely on baitfish during twilight and nighttime hours. Live bait, spinners and flies fished at dusk are equally effective on brown trout.

Landlocked Salmon

The landlocked salmon was originally an ocean fish that became trapped in inland lakes. They are stocked in larger lakes, and prefer water temperatures in the mid-50s. During summer, landlocked salmon are usually found 40 feet below the surface, where it’s cold.landlock_salmon.gif

Early spring and late September are the best times to catch salmon. In the spring, they follow smelt when these bait fish spawn. During the day, salmon cruise the shallow water of the lake near stream mouths. In the fall, salmon swim upstream to spawn. Salmon can be caught on streamer flies trolled close behind a boat at a rapid pace. Trolled spoons, wobblers and sewn-on bait are also excellent.

Lake Trout

The lake trout is prized as a game fish, mainly because of its size and power. Fish weighing between 3 and 6 pounds are caught regularly, and individuals as large as 10 pounds are not uncommon. The ideal temperature for lake trout is near 50lake_trout.gif degrees, so they’re usually found on or near the bottom of the water body.

Winter ice fishing on New Hampshire’s big lakes centers around bobhouse colonies. Jigging with lures or cut sucker bait are effective ways of catching lakers through the ice. In early spring, just after “ice out,” they are generally taken by trolling near the surface with spoons or wobblers and natural bait, such as shiners or suckers. In summer, troll deep with wire or lead-core lines or downriggers, with sewn-on bait or spoons.


Two species of whitefish, or shad, are found in a few New Hampshire lakes: the lake whitefish and round whitefish. The round_whitefish.giflake whitefish typically inhabits deep, clear, cold lakes. The round whitefish (right, above) does well in cold lakes, but in shallower water.

Lake whitefish (right, below) can be taken almost any time of year, though most fishing is done through the ice. Summer orlake_whitefish.gif winter, the usual method is by baiting the location with chum (cut-up fish) several days before fishing, then bobbing a light sinker and small hook baited with a piece of cut-up fish near the bottom. During ice out, lake whitefish may be taken with flies at the surface.


Smallmouth Bass

All bass are spring spawners, with nest-building occurring in mid-May when the water temperatures are in the high 50s and low 60s. Spawning smallmouths are found in areas with gravel and boulder bottoms. In the summer, they will stay in smallmouth_bass1.gifdeeper water than largemouths because they like the cooler temperatures. Look for smallmouths along rocks near drop-offs. On summer nights, smallmouths will head to shallow water looking for crayfish.
Several methods may be used to take smallmouths, including fly casting with floating bugs, and trolling or casting with a plug or spinner. The most common and successful method is still-fishing with live bait, such as worms, minnows, hellgrammites and crayfish. Fall brings them back into shallower water, which awakens a drive to eat and put on weight for the winter.

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass thrive best in warm, shallow, mud-bottomed lakes, ponds or streams with plenty of weeds. It is a solitary fish. Most of its time is spent lurking among aquatic vegetation, beneath an overhanging branch or under a brush-largemouh_bass.gifcovered bank, waiting for prey to swim by. Its diet consists of frogs and bait fish, though almost anything can become a meal: snakes, mice, snails and worms.

Not as spectacular a fighter as the smallmouth, the largemouth is best caught by fishing the open places among lily pads, around sunken logs or stumps or along a stream bank. Surface poppers and plastic worm lures probably take most bass, but live minnows and crayfish, artificial flies and streamers, and trolled lures will all work.


Any quiet, shallow water with a mud bottom, an abundance of aquatic vegetation and food fishes is ideal for the chain, or chain_pickerel.gifEastern, pickerel. Their optimum water temperature is apparently 80 to 90 degrees. Pickerel like to hide in weeds waiting for a meal to swim by.

The chain pickerel is a voracious carnivore. Its diet includes golden shiners, brown bullheads, yellow perch and sunfish. The pickerel’s popularity peaks during the winter, when considerable numbers are taken with ease through the ice. Most ice anglers fish with a “tip-up” device, using a live minnow. Pickerel fishing in open water is also profitable. Trolling, still fishing with a live minnow or frog, or spincasting with plugs, spinners or spoons all produce good results.

Horned Pout

The horned pout, also known as “brown bullhead,” is found chiefly in small lakes, ponds and the sluggish parts of streams and rivers. It also inhabits large lakes, where it is most abundant in sheltered bays.brown_bullhead.gif
A horned pout prefers a mud bottom, but does well with or without vegetative growth. It is a hardy fish and can survive extreme conditions that cause other fish to perish, such as water temperatures of 90 degrees and oxygen levels as low as one part per million.

The horned pout can be caught by any angler, skilled or unskilled, using most any type of tackle. Earthworms are probably the most common bait. Live minnows, crayfish, corn kernels, hellgrammites and dough balls are also good, if fished near the bottom. Fishing in the evening, at night or early morning hours is usually best. <

White Perch

The white perch is a determined fighter when hooked, and is one of our tastier and more popular panfishes. It is an easy white_perch.giffish to catch and will accept most any kind of bait: worms, live minnows, pork rind, artificial flies, and spoons. White perch fishing is best at dusk, when schools of feeding fish tend to move into shallow water near shore. This fish, unfortunately, often becomes overcrowded and stunted in fresh water. Handle these fish with care; the spines on the back are sharp.

Northern Pike

The northern pike is a fast-growing, voracious predator that is highly prized as a sport fish. They can only be found in a few select water bodies in the state.northern_pike.gif
A northern pike, like the pickerel, eats other fish. As the pike gets bigger, other animals, such as frogs, ducklings, and even small muskrats, are also consumed. Although the northern pike prefers cooler waters than the pickerel, both fish are usually found in quiet, shallow, weedy areas. Northern pike are generally fished in the same manner as chain pickerel.


Both lakes and streams serve as walleye habitat. It thrives best in clean water and prefers areas with a firm bottom, such walleye.gifas gravel or bedrock. It is a nocturnal fish, moving onto sandbars or rocky shoals at night to feed and remaining in deeper water during the day.

Walleye are found only in select New Hampshire water bodies, and are prized by successful anglers. Fishing methods include still fishing with live minnows or by trolling or casting almost any artificial lure, spoon, spinner or minnow and spinner combination. The most productive fishing is generally in the evening and early morning.

Black Crappieblack_crappie.gif

Introduced recently to New Hampshire, black crappies are found in few bodies of water, mostly in the southern part of the state. It inhabits quiet, weedy areas of lakes, ponds and streams. As its range grows, the crappie is becoming an important panfish in New Hampshire. Small jigs fished in open water or through the ice are successful crappies lures.


Not a New Hampshire native, the bluegill, sometimes called “kibbee,” has extended its range into the Granite State. The bluegill.gifbluegill is at home in quiet, warm, weedy waters similar to those inhabited by other sunfish, such as the pumpkinseed.
This is a much esteemed and highly valued panfish throughout much of its range. Like other sunfish, the bluegill is easily caught with simple tackle. Small flies, panfish poppers, and live bait such as grubs and worms all work well.

Yellow Perch

Yellow perch are a schooling fish and can be located in relatively shallow, weedy water. They spawn in April or early May yellow_perch.gifin sheltered coves and backwaters. These fish feed mainly on small aquatic insects, crustaceans and small fishes.
They are not difficult to catch and can be taken year round. In the summer, an artificial fly, spinning lure, trolling spoon and live minnow work well. In winter, the tip-up or handline with live minnows are good methods for catching yellow perch. Fishing for yellow perch is fun and encouraged. They often compete with game fish for habitat and need to be harvested to keep numbers manageable.


Striped Bass

This migratory fish moves north during the spring and back southward during the fall, spending roughly the months of striper.jpgMay through October feeding in the Great Bay area. Stripers caught in New Hampshire range from 10 to more than 50 inches in length, and can weigh in excess of 50 pounds.

Striped bass can be taken from shore or from a boat, by casting, trolling, drifting or fly-fishing. Striped bass fishing is especially good during an evening or early morning tide, as stripers are nocturnal feeders.
Live or natural baits are effective, especially live eels, pogies (menhaden), and chunks of mackerel, squid or herring. An 8- to 10-foot surf rod and reel spooled with 30-pound test, or a medium to heavy spinning rod with 12- to 20-pound test line is preferable, depending on fishing location.

Effective lures include the spoons, poppers, lead-head jigs and swimming plugs. Popular flies include streamers that look like bait fish. A particularly good one is Lefty’s Deceiver.


Bluefish run in schools. When you catch one, you often will catch several more soon afterwards. During the summer, large blufish.jpgschools of adults migrate up into the Gulf of Maine. The best time to catch bluefish in New Hampshire waters is from the late July to the early September. Most bluefish caught here range between 18 and 36 inches, although occasionally anglers may encounter a school of “snapper blues” (young fish less than 12 inches).

Bluefish are caught by anglers fishing in Great Bay and its tributaries, along the coast and at the Isles of Shoals. Fly-fishing, spinning or trolling with bait are all good methods for catching bluefish. When spin-fishing, a medium- to heavy-duty rod with 10- to 40-pound test line is recommended. Regardless of the equipment or the technique, wire leaders are a must: bluefish have sharp teeth which can easily cut through most monofilament lines.

Swimming lures and drifted bait are effective for catching bluefish. Chunks of pogies (menhaden), mackerel, herring and live eels are good baits. Effective artificial lures for casting or trolling include poppers, spoons and plugs. Effective flies include Clouser minnows and foam-bodied poppers.

Atlantic Mackerel

The Atlantic mackerel is a fast-swimming species that often travels in large schools. Most Atlantic mackerel caught by mackerel.jpgNew Hampshire anglers are 12 to 18 inches in length and weigh less than 3 pounds.
Two distinct populations migrate through coastal New Hampshire waters at different times. The more southerly contingent arrives in early summer. The northern contingent of mackerel moves inshore to the southern New England coast by late May, migrates north, and then passes through again in September-October on its way offshore to deeper waters. In the Gulf of Maine they can be caught from late spring through fall, although mackerel fishing is best in early June or during the fall.

Atlantic mackerel can be found in the upper 10 to 25 feet of the water column almost anywhere along the New England coast. A medium spinning rig spooled with 15-pound test line is best for casting with a single, 1 to 1 ½-ounce mackerel jig. However, any small jig or shiny metal lure can be used with good results. Effective bait includes worms, clam necks and squid. Effective lures include diamond jigs and mackerel trees.

Winter Flounder

Of the half-dozen or so types of flounders occurring in New Hampshire waters, the winter flounder (or blackback) is by far flounder.jpgthe flounder species most commonly caught by recreational anglers.
In the Gulf of Maine, winter flounder begin moving into the bay and estuaries during late winter for spawning, which occurs in April or May in New Hampshire. After spawning, they remain in the bays, harbors and near shore areas throughout the summer before migrating to offshore waters in the fall.

Fishing for flounder in New Hampshire begins in May and generally continues through September. Anglers can fish for flounder from jetties, piers and bridges, but those fishing from boats near the mouths of estuaries and harbors are more successful. Light to medium tackle rods are used, equipped with 1- or 2-ounce weights and long-shank flounder hooks attached to “spreaders.” Lures are mostly ineffective; bait is best. Favorite baits include clam worms, blood worms and clams. Chumming is also a common tactic to attract flounder to where you are fishing.

Rainbow Smelt

Rainbow smelt congregate in bays and estuaries in the fall to feed on crustaceans and small fish. In March, as water smelt.jpgtemperatures rise and ice breakup occurs, smelt spawn in areas of high water flow and rocky bottoms in estuarine rivers.
Smelt begin to gather in the bay and near the mouth of tributaries in late fall and winter in anticipation of their spring spawning run. Smelt are occasionally caught during late fall, however, smelt fishing begins in earnest with the formation of ice in the Great Bay Estuary and its tributaries. Smelt fishing is best a few hours on either side of high tide, and catches are most often greater at night.

Many anglers use short two-foot-long fishing rods, while others simply tie their fishing line to cross beams, placing them over the holes in the ice in their ice shanties. Smelt anglers will have success using a variety of gear, whether it’s a small spinning outfit or a handline. A very light line, 4-pound test or less, is essential. Clam (or sea) worms and small local bait fishes, like mummichogs, on a size 6 to 10 hook with a small sinker are effective. Schools of smelt can move vertically in the water column while they swim, therefore, the depth of a baited hook is critical to successful smelt fishing. An effective lure is the small silver or metallic colored jigs.

Atlantic Codfish

In coastal New Hampshire, Atlantic codfish are found near the Isles of Shoals and along Jeffrey’s Ledge. Cod can occur cod.jpgfrom surface waters to depths of 1,200 feet, depending on life stage and season. Most frequently they are found at depths of 200 to 300 feet, living within a few feet of the bottom. Adapted for bottom feeding, cod inhabit rocky bottoms, but may occasionally feed on herring in the water column. Average size of codfish caught near the shore range from 6 to 12 pounds; occasionally anglers may encounter 20- to 30-pound adults.

Most cod-seeking anglers fish on offshore grounds from boats, using fresh bait or jigs with teasers. Opportunity exists, however, for anglers to catch this fish from shore, as well as from boats in near-shore waters. Popular baits include clams, sand eels, squid and shrimp. Cod fishing is at its best in spring and fall when water temperatures are changing. Diamond jigs and other jig-type lures are effective hardware for catching cod.


This member of the cod family prefers deep, cool water and gravel or smooth rock substrates. Haddock migrate haddock.jpgseasonally. In coastal New England they are most abundant during summer months in the shallower waters of the Gulf of Maine. Few haddock exceed 24 inches or weigh more than 3 to 5 pounds.
Haddock can occasionally be caught in New Hampshire from spring to fall in deep water areas. A medium-action 8-foot boat rod is effective for haddock fishing. Unlike cod, haddock have very soft mouths that gently tap at a baited hook. These are felt as light bumps to the angler, thus, require a sensitive rod. Lures are ineffective in catching haddock. Fresh clams, shrimp and squid are the best baits.


The pollock is an active fish living at all depths, depending on the food supply, which includes small invertebrates, shrimp pollock.jpgand baitfish. Larger pollock tend to be found deeper and farther from the coast, while smaller ones (often called “harbor pollock”) are more likely to be near the surface. Pollock caught by hook may range in size from 10 to 16 inches (harbor pollock) up to 2- to 3-foot fish encountered offshore.

Recreational anglers, casting with light spinning gear, may take small harbor pollock from inshore waters near breakwaters or other structures. Larger pollock may be taken offshore in deeper waters. Pollock are caught with either artificial lures, such as diamond jigs and mackerel trees, or with bait, such as clam necks and clam worms.

Ocean Species of Fish

Fish FAQs and Facts

Fish are vertebrates (backboned animals) that live in water. There are more kinds of fish than all other kinds of water and land vertebrates put together. The various kinds of fish differ so greatly in shape, color, and size that it is hard to believe they all belong to the same group of animals.

Importance of Fish
Fish help keep the number of organisms on the earth in balance. Fish feed on some aquatic organisms and themselves become food for others.

Fish Sides
Sometimes scientists use big funny words to explain which side of the fish they are talking about. This easy guide deciphers the technical talk for you.

Fish Species of Australia
This site lists Australian fish species by common name. Each links lead to a page with a brief summary on each species.

Fish Body Forms and Lifestyles
Body form affects the mechanics and adaptations of fish to swimming and moving in the water. When you see a fish - whether you are diving, fishing, watching an aquarium, nature program, or preparing one for dinner (provided you bought the whole fish, a rarity today), you may be able to classify it into one of six broad categories of design (or body forms):

Fish Jaw Mechanics
The two animations below show how a fish jaw moves.

Fish in Focus
Click on an image below to find out:
Common, Scientific and Family names , Number of species in the family and genus , Distribution and habitat requirements , Adaptions - structure, physiology, behaviour , Follow-up questions and references

The term “fish” is applied to a class of animals that includes some 21,000 extremely diverse species. Fish can be roughly defined (and there are a few exceptions) as cold-blooded creatures that have backbones, live in water, and have gills. The gills enable fish to “breathe” underwater, without drawing oxygen from the atmosphere.

Coral Reef Fish
Of all the creatures dwelling on coral reefs, none are more active or obvious than the fishes. Perhaps more than any other single component of the reef communities, fishes provide the best opportunity to observe essential features of reef ecology.

Fish FAQs
Q: Is life found at all depths in the ocean? Q: How many fish species are there? Q: Which is the oldest fish, as a class? Q: What is the world’s largest fish? The smallest? Q: What is the most common fish in the sea? Q: Do fish sleep?

What Does A Fish Look Like?
One of the best things about fishwatching is the thrill of seeing so many different fishes together in one place. When snorkeling over a tropical coral reef you might see more than 50 different species . What makes fishwatching even more fun is that many of the fishes have completely different shapes, colors, and movements.

Even Fish Need to Keep Clean
It is hard to think of a fish being dirty. After all, they swim around in water all day long. So why aren’t they always clean? Just like you, fish also need a good cleaning nearly everyday. They don’t get dirty from playing in the yard, but do have tiny, tiny animals, known as parasites, living on their skin, scales and inside their mouths. If the parasites are not cleaned away, they quickly multiply until the fish becomes sick.

What is Northern Cod?
Northern Cod is the most abundant and most valuable groundfish stock in the

Northwest Atlantic Ocean. There are over 40 other groundfish stocks in Canada’s Atlantic fishery. Cod, turbot, redfish (or ocean perch), haddock, pollock and flounder are the main species and they all have the same characteristic: they feed near the bottom in the more shallow waters of the submerged plateaus or “banks” of our Continental Shelf.

The Cod Fishery
The lives of the fishermen of

Newfoundland has been irrevocably changed by the moritorium. Increasingly, the most unusual sight in coastal Newfoundland is a fisherman off-loading his latest catch. The once familiar action of jigging a cod is now a serious crime. Due to the closure of the food fishery in 1994, Newfoundlanders no longer have the right to feed their families from the sea.What once was a tradition is now a memory.


Haddock, bottom-feeding marine fish, Melanogrammus aeglefinus, of the cod family, Gadidae, differing from the cod in its smaller mouth, longer anterior dorsal fin, and the black line that runs along its side.


Halibut, common name for either of two species of flatfish in the genus Hippoglossus, related to the flounder. Halibut are longer, thicker, and heavier than any of the other flatfishes and differ somewhat in development.


Herring, common name for several fishes of the order Clupeiformes, which also includes the anchovies. Herrings are economically the most important group of fish to

North America and western Europe.


Mackerel, common name for any of 48 species of important food fishes in the family Scombridae. The Atlantic mackerel, Scomber scombrus, which is blue above and silver below, attains a length of about 50 cm (about 20 in) and a weight of about 1.4 kg (about 3 lb).


Perch, any of several species of bony fish, genus Perca, family Percidae, characterized by a dorsal fin divided in two parts. The front portion is spined and the rear part is soft-rayed. Two spines also occur on the anal fin.

Shad, common name for several species of food fish in different genera of the family Clupeidae, related to the herring, sardine, menhaden, and alewife. Shad generally inhabit the sea or brackish waters, feeding on other fish and on plankton, but all species ascend rivers to spawn in fresh water.


Skate, common name applied to the rays of the family Rajidae. These flat-bodied elasmobranchs are common in warm and temperate seas, including the coastal waters of the

U.S. The flesh of the European, or gray, skate, Raja batis, which attains a weight of 45 kg (100 lb), is extensively eaten in Europe ; skate flesh is not common in the North American diet.

Skate Egg Case
The bottom-dwelling skate buries most of its egg case in the sand; the tendrils can hook onto seaweed. The case is sometimes referred to as a “mermaid’s purse.”


Smelt, common name for any of several species of marine and freshwater fish of the family Osmeridae of the northern hemisphere, characterized by the presence of a small adipose fin on the dorsal surface of the body, and by rather large scales, which readily fall off.


Sole, any of several species of flatfish of the family Soleidae, found in tropical and subtropical oceans and also in fresh water. Like other flatfishes in the order Pleuronectiformes, the sole is oval and flattened side to side; it spends its adult life on the ocean bottom, lying on its left side, partly covered with sand and mud.


Tuna, common name for any of several large, pelagic, schooling fishes of Thunnus and related genera, of the family Scombridae, order Perciformes. Tuna are found in most of the waters of the world, and have long been valued as food fish.


Salmo salar

Dams and pollution are hazards for the Atlantic salmon on its run to the spawning beds. However, an older and far more serious problem has been high seas fishing, which was not subject to management regulation for sustaining yields. In 1966 when reduced stocks caused concern on both sides of the Atlantic, Canada, the United States, and

Spain banned high seas salmon fishing, although other countries did not join the ban until ten years later.


Prionace glauca

The blue shark is one of the most abundant and far-ranging of all sharks and is a prolific breeder. Females sometimes litter as many as 70 pups. This is a slimly built fish with a 2 m specimen weighing only about 32 kg. Regarded by anglers as a sport fish, the current world angling record is 3.5 m and 186 kg.

Sometimes known as the blue whaler because of its frequent presence at the scene of a whale kill, the blue shark is not reputed to be particularly dangerous to humans.


Ictalurus nebulosis

The usual length of this moderate-sized bullhead is 20 to 36 cm. Its distribution is restricted to the fresh waters of eastern and central

North America. It was released in Germany in the early 1900s, and from there to England, many European countries, and the former USSR. The maximum age of the fish is six to eight years.

Nests are usually shallow depressions in a muddy or sandy bottom in which the eggs are deposited. Feeding is done mainly at night on or near the bottom, and food including waste and offal is searched out largely by means of the barbels. Particularly resistant to domestic and industrial waste, it is sometimes the only species found in heavily polluted waters. The flesh is firm, reddish to pink in colour, and quite delicious.


Salmo trutta

The brown trout was introduced to North America from

Europe in 1883 and has since become a popular quarry for anglers.

The females spawn in autumn and the beginning of winter in a water temperature of about 8 degrees Celsius and lay their eggs in shallow water on gravely bottoms. A nest is dug in the gravel where the eggs are deposited and then covered over. A five- or six-year-old female produces about 2,000 eggs per season.
The best time for fishing for brown trout is in the evening. They feed upon aquatic and terrestrial insects, crustaceans, molluscs, frogs, salamanders, and other fish.


Cyprinus carpio

The carp was introduced to North America from

Europe. Sometimes specimens have only a few large scales (”mirror carp”) or none at all (”leather carp”).

This fish frequents the shallow warm waters of lakes and streams even when somewhat muddy or polluted. It feeds on insect larvae, crustaceans, snails, and plants. The carp spawns in vegetated shallows in June and July. One 8 kg specimen had 2,300,000 eggs. The angling record in

North America is 105 cm and 25 kg. The world record is 38 kg. It is usually caught still-fishing on doughballs, potatoes, or worms.


Latimeria chalumnae

“Old fourlegs,” the coelacanth (see-la-kanth), close to the stock that gave rise to the land vertebrates, is well known from the fossil record of 75 million to 400 million years ago. They were thought to be extinct until 1938 when one was caught off the coast of

South Africa. A long search for their home ended in 1952 when they were found in the Comoros archipelago.

In 1975, it was discovered that the coelacanth is a “live bearer” when a 1.5 m mother was found to contain five young that were each a perfect 30 cm miniature of the adult. Of the specimens caught to date, the maximum weight has been 95 kg and a maximum length about 1.8 m.


Pacific Mako Shark
One of the most active sharks, it leaps repeatedly when hooked and is, consequently, a popular quarry for shark fishermen. The Mako is involved in attacks on boats more frequently than any other species. Thresher Shark: Distinguished by the long (up to 3.3 m) upper lobe of the caudal fin which is used to strike whip-like blows at its prey. Hammerhead: The eyes are located at the outer tips of the head It grows to 4.5 m or more. Mako: Perhaps the most beautiful of the sharks. The back is a deep blue, the underside a glittering white. It grows to 455 kg and up to 3.6 m long.

Greenland Shark: A very lethargic creature and one of the few sharks to inhabit polar waters year-round. Great White Shark: The most dangerous of all the sharks. The largest taken measured 6.3 m and weighed 3,315 kg. It is very aggressive.



1 Ambassis gymnocephalus Pridin
2 Ambassis interrupta Pridin
3 Amblyrhynchichthys truncatus Mata besar
4 Anabas testudineus Puyu
5 Anguilla bicolor bicolor Tuna
6 Anguilla malgumora Belud
7 Aplocheilus panchax Kepala timah
8 Apogon hyalosoma Seriding
9 Aristichthys nobilis Kap kepala besar
10 Balantiocheilos melanopterus Hangus
11 Barbichthys laevis Batu hulu
12 Barbonymus gonionotus Lalawak
13 Barbonymus schwanenfeldii Kepia
14 Butis gymnopomus Puntang
15 Carassius auratus auratus Ikan mas
16 Carcharhinus leucas Yu
17 Catla catla Belaga
18 Channa micropeltes Toman
19 Channa striata Haruan
20 Chiloscyllium indicum Yu bodoh
21 Chitala chitala Belida
22 Cirrhinus chinensis Kap lumpur
23 Cirrhinus cirrhosus Mrigal
24 Clarias batrachus Keli
25 Clarias macrocephalus Freshwater catfish
26 Ctenopharyngodon idella Kap rumput
27 Cyprinus carpio carpio Leekoh
28 Doryichthys boaja Undok-undok
29 Garra borneensis Batduan
30 Gerres filamentosus Kekapas
31 Glossogobius aureus Belukor
32 Glossogobius giuris Bekulor
33 Hampala macrolepidota Sebarau
34 Hampala macrolepidota Sebarau
35 Helostoma temminkii Temakang
36 Hemibagrus nemurus Baung
37 Himantura signifer Pari
38 Hypophthalmichthys molitrix Kap perak
39 Hyporhamphus limbatus Jolong-jolong
40 Ilisha megaloptera Puput
41 Johnius borneensis Tengkerong
42 Labeo rohita Rohu
43 Leptobarbus hoevenii Jelawat
44 Liza subviridis Belanak
45 Liza tade Belanak
46 Liza vaigiensis Pelung
47 Lutjanus argentimaculatus Ungar
48 Macrochirichthys macrochirus Parang sungai
49 Megalops cyprinoides Pipih
50 Monodactylus argenteus Gedabang
51 Monopterus albus Belut
52 Mugil cephalus Belanak
53 Muraenesox cinereus Malong
54 Mylopharyngodon piceus Kap hitam
55 Mystacoleucus marginatus Sia
56 Mystus vittatus Baung
57 Nematabramis alestes Dumpis
58 Nematabramis steindachneri Dumpis
59 Notopterus notopterus Belida
60 Oreochromis mossambicus Tilapia
61 Osphronemus goramy Kalui
62 Osteochilus hasseltii Terbol
63 Osteochilus spilurus Toros
64 Oxyeleotris marmorata Belantuk
65 Oxygaster anomalura Lalang



Loma/Lomah-Thynichthys thynnoides

Ikan ni biasanya boleh didapati di tasik2 dan lombong di sekitar Malaysia.Selalunya dalam satu kumpulan yg besar,selalu di salah anggap sebagai kumpulan Sebarau yg sedang boiling.Diet utamanya plakton dan tumbuhan2 air.

Sebarau-Hampala macrolepidota

Ikan yg menjadi idaman kaki2 casting semua.Biasanya boleh didapati di tasik2,lombong2 dan juga sungai2 di Malaysia.Diet utama adalah anak2 ikan dan juga udang.

Bagoh-Puntius lateristiga

Ikan yg mendiami sungai berjeram,berbatu dan juga air2 terjun di sekitar malaysia,boleh di jinakkan menggunakan gewang2 kecil dan juga cengkerik & cacing.

Tengas-Neolissochilus hexagonolepis

Ikan yg nendiami sungai2 berjeram di Malaysia.Ikan ni complicated sikit,byk genus dia..yg ni biar otai2 terangkan,tp yg dlm gbr ni kalau tak silap hexagonolepis,tengas yg biasa kt sungai2 berjeram.Umpan yg selalu di gunakan,perut ayam,cengkerik,kelapa sawit,anak udang dll.

Toman-Channa micropeltes

Samseng air tawar,antara ikan yg terkuat dan menjadi idaman kaki pancing semua.Mendiami tasik2,sungai2 dan lombong2 di Malaysia.Diet utama ialah ikan dan mcm2 lagi,di lombong2 sekitar Perak saya ada dengar pemancing menggunakan umpan anak itik untuk menjinakkan toman2 monster..tak sanggup saya..untuk kaki2 casting ikan ini mmg menjadi buruan kerana kekuatannya.

Haruan Palas-Channa melasoma

Haruan ini di sebelah bawah badannya berwarna kebiru-biruan dan badan bewarna agak gelap.Mendiami kawasan2 berpaya dan kawasan2 yg kandungan Ph dlm air nya rendah.Diet-katak,anak ikan dll

Bujuk-Channa lucius

Spesis kepala ular yg mempunyai corak badan yg menarik.Mendiami kawasan yg sama dgn Haruan Palas tadi,diet pun sama lah kot.

ikan kaloi.

Diet kepet (lipas tanah),cacing,serangga kecik (kaloi ni umpan lalat). habitat-kawasan yg kurang berarus/banyak bereba/samai

Toman Bunga

Nama Tempatan : Toman Bunga, Jelai, Jaloi, Kuang, Kerandang.
Nama Saintifik: Channa marulloides @ Emperor Snakehead
Habitat : Kawasan paya berair gambut/hitam @ Blackwater, Sungai & Tasik.
Diet : Anak Ikan ,Udang, Serangga & Katak

Nama Tempatan : Keli Limbat @ Limbat
Nama Saintifik : Unknown . Family : Clariidae / Order: Siluriformes
Habitat : Sungai, Alur Air & Paya.
Diet : Anak ikan, serangga , udang & juga terkenal sbg pemakan bangkai.

Keli Limbat @ Limbat

Nama Saintifik : Unknown . Family : Clariidae / Order: Siluriformes
Habitat : Sungai, Alur Air & Paya.
Diet : Anak ikan, serangga , udang & juga terkenal sbg pemakan bangkai.

Jelawat/Sultan Fish-Leptobarbus hoevenii

Ikan ini suatu masa dahulu menjadi santapan di raja tetapi setelah ikan ini berjaya di biak dan telah di komersialkan raja pun dah tak nak makan.Mendiami sungai2,tasik2 dan lombong di sekitar Malaysia.

Siakap, Kakap Putih.

Nama Saintifik : Lates calcarifer @ Barramundi
Diet : Anak Ikan, Udang


Nama Saintifik : Megalops cyprinoides @ Indo-Pacific Tarpon
Diet : Anak Ikan , Udang.


Nama Saintifik : Elops machnata @ Tenpounder @ Ladyfish
Diet : Anak Ikan, Udang.

Temoleh-Probarbus jullienni

Ikan idaman pemancing air tawar,spesis ini semakin terancam.Boleh didapati di Sungai Pahang & Sungai Perak

Baung-Hemibagrus nemurus

Sp ni pun byk genus dia,kena tanya pakar untuk lebih detail.Boleh didapati di sungai2,tasik2 & lombong di Malaysia.Umpan yg selalu di gunakan,umpan tapa,cacing,cengkerik,perut ayam dll.

Tenggalan-Puntioplites bulu

Mempunyai isi yg enak,menjadi idaman untuk santapan.Boleh di dapati di beberapa sungai,tasik&lombong2 di Malaysia.Umpan yg biasa di gunakan ialah campuran dedak,


Nama Saintifik : Bagarius bagarius
Habitat: Sungai di kaw. berarus laju/jeram dan berbatu.
Diet : Anak Ikan , Serangga


Nama Saintifik : ??
Habitat : Kebanyakkan terusan di kaw. sawah padi
Diet : Anak ikan, udang.

Kelah @ Kelah Merah

Nama Saintifik : Tor tambroides @ Malaysian Masheer
Habitat : Di kaw. hulu sungai pedalaman.

Kejor, Tengas Kejor

Nama Saintifik : ????
Habitat : Hulu sungai pergunungan
Diet : serangga,buah² hutan dan krustasia

Udang galah

Nama Saintifik : Macrobrachium rosenbergii
Diet : anak² ikan,anak udang dll

Diet : Krustasea, anak ikan , buah-buahan hutan.

Haruan Todak (Perlis), Kedak

Nama Saintifik : Channa gachua @ Dwarf Snakehead
Habitat : Sungai² berjeram dan berair jernih
Diet : Serangga, Krustasia

Seluang Pipih / Seluang Nipis

Nama saintifik : Devario regina
Habitat : Sungai² berjeram, berair jernih.
Diet : Serangga


Nama Saintifik : Rasbora sildii
Habitat : Sungai , anak² sungai
Diet : Serangga

Tebal sisik

Nama Saintifik : Barbus binotatus
Habitat : Sungai ,anak² sungai
Diet : Serangga , krustasia

Baung Pisang

Nama Saintifik : Bagarius negricep
Habitat : Sungai² berair jernih
Diet : Serangga , anak² ikan