Malaysians will now get to enjoy jade perch (fei chui pan in Cantonese), a new organically grown fish species that originates from Australia. Extraordinarily high in Omega-3 oils, it is a popular fish in a number of Asian countries.
Omega-3 is essential for promoting proper nervous system and mental function, and maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. Research has proven that the high intake of Omega-3 fish oils can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Doctors recommend 400mg of Omega-3 at least twice a week to reduce the risk of heart attack.
Exceptionally high in Omega-3 oils, jade perch is organically farmed using the fish protech controlled aquaculture system. The fish is bred in indoor tanks using a fully integrated, climate-controlled, water management system.
Jade perch is organically grown with patented technology to ensure “clean” fish free of harmful mercury and disease. OM3 Fish (Asia) Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Protech Yu (Asia) Sdn Bhd, markets this fish in a joint-venture with Goldish Berhad.
Jade perch, a freshwater river fish, gets its name from the distinctive greenish colour along the top of its body when light is reflected off the scales. In Australia, it is known also known as striped perch.
During the launch and food-tasting of the fish dish at Isthmus restaurant in Kuala Lumpur, Protech Yu chief operating officer Yong Kheng Loong expressed confidence that Malaysians would enjoy this novelty fish because “it is easy to cook, healthy, and free of contaminants due to the Protech aquaculture system used to breed it”. With delicate flesh, it is also being promoted as an ideal fish for the health-conscious, young children and pregnant women.
Jade perch is marketed under the OM3 Fish brand, which promises consumers healthy fish products and is synonymous with fish nurtured in environmentally friendly conditions. It is available in selected supermarkets, organic shops, restaurants and hotels in the Klang Valley. Priced at RM44.90 per kg, the fish is vacuum packed and sold in 500g frozen packs. Mature fish can reach up to 2kg or 3kg and such bigger fish are supplied to hotels and restaurants.
Goldish head of corporate investment Colin Ng said the jade perch is now being reared in Kuching under a pilot project managed by Protech Yu for about two years. He added that about RM10mil has been set aside to build an integrated facility in Kuala Kubu Baru, Perak, which will include processing and logistics in the farming of the fish.
Yong said the Kuala Kubu Baru farm can supply jade perch commercially by the end of October.
The fish is farmed under the land-based aquaculture technique known as the fish protech controlled aquaculture system (fish Protech CAS), which has been successfully commercialised in Australia for over two decades. Protech Yu is the master licensee of the system in Asia.
Invented by Australian entrepreneur and engineer Johan Don, the system is a proven aquaculture technology of rearing and breeding of freshwater and marine fish in indoor tanks using a fully integrated, climate-controlled, water management system.
In Australia, fish sold under the fish Protech CAS brand command a premium in the marketplace. The system produces organically farmed fish guaranteed free of chemicals, antibiotics and other pollutants.
Fish bred using this technology are said to be free from diseases commonly associated with other outdoor aquaculture methods. It uses treated water, organic feed and specific pathogen-free fingerlings.
Don, who is CEO of Fish Protech Australia, said: “The jade perch has been organically grown in Australia since 1999 and the Australian barramundi (sea bass), since 1988.”
The jade perch’s rich natural oils and soft flesh make it easy to cook. It is said to have a high Omega-3 oil content, that is, 2.4g for every 100g of flesh, which is far higher than what the Atlantic salmon yields (1.8g for every 100g).