To reduce COVID-19 impact, Langkawi’s Kubang Badak fishermen switch to crab breeding


LANGKAWI – The COVID-19 pandemic has not only affected the tourism sector on this duty-free island but also its fishing community in Kubang Badak, about 30 kilometres from Kuah Town.

Undeterred, the fishermen immediately ventured into breeding nipah crabs as another branch of income for Koperasi Nelayan Sungai Kubang Badak Langkawi Berhad.

The cooperative chairman, Rusasmizal Mohd Ghazali said the nipah crab breeding project started in March last year, with a pond constructed on a 0.2 hectare plot of land owned by a member of the cooperative.

“Nipah crabs take 90 days before they can be sold. Each nipah crab can weigh more than 500 grammes and can be sold at RM40 to RM70 per kilogramme depending on the size.

“Having operated for almost a year, we have reaped the results three times, with an estimated sales value of about RM8,000,” he told Bernama, recently.

Commenting further, Rusasmizal admitted that the costs incurred of about RM60,000 has not given a return but he remains optimistic with the huge potential that the project has.

“Currently, we are focused on selling the crabs to the locals because the Movement Control Order (MCO) does not allow inter-district and inter-state travel.

“Apart from selling the crabs directly to customers, we are building the ‘Mi Ketam Kubang Badak’  brand so that in future tourists who come to Kubang Badak will stop by to try the dishes offered,” he said.

The 72-member cooperative had previously offered packages to explore the mangrove forest by boat, to see the 12 geosites which have a unique geological, biological and cultural heritage of the Kubang Badak Biogeotrail, but now these activities have also been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.