Format: Softcover, 99 pages
Publisher: Wetlands International - Malaysia Programme, July, 2002
Tasek Bera, a freshwater swamp system situated in Central Peninsular Malaysia, was declared a Ramsar Site in November 1994 when Malaysia became a Contracting Party to the Ramsar Convention. The lake has a range of conservation values, least of which, it is important for its fish biodiversity. At least 94 species have been recorded so far including the endangered Asian Arowana Scleropages formosus and Silver Shark Balantocheilos melanopterus. The majority of fish species found at the site are indigenous to Peninsular Malaysia and the site meets Ramsar criteria 7 and 8 relating to fish conservation, amongst others.
Recognising the importance of conserving this unique fish biodiversity in Tasek Bera, Wetlands International-Malaysia Programme has published A Field Guide to the Fish of Tasek Bera Ramsar Site, Pahang, Malaysia with funding from DGIS in July 2002.
The bilingual Bahasa Malaysia-English guide complements the DGIS focal areas of Inventory and Assessment. It draws on the information gathered from a three-year DANCED funded project which saw the establishment of a management body for the Ramsar site. Among the data collected were from a baseline survey on fish which determined the status of the species at the site; from interviews with the indigenous Semelai people on their exploitation of the fish and some of the traditional methods used to capture them as well as information on threats to the fish such as non-point source pollution, over-exploitation, poisoning and introduction of non-native species.
Aside from its role as a comprehensive reference on freshwater fish, the guide is an ideal tool for raising public awareness and education on fish conservation. Designed to be reader-friendly with many beautiful illustrations and charming insights into the Semelai folklore and their cultural association with fish; it's appeal is wide ranging from fishing enthusiasts, anglers, tourists to students doing research. It is hoped that, by providing greater access to information on the diversity of fish at Tasek Bera, the extent of its endemism, and the best conservation measures, the Field Guide will help the public, tourists and even the Semelai there to better appreciate the importance of the site for fish conservation.