Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mouse Grouper, Cromileptes altivelis, Kerapu Tikus

The 2009 Import and Export Market for Live Fish in AsiaThe 2009 Import and Export Market for Live Fish in ChinaThis fish is so beautiful as larvae, juvenile and even adult. They tend to be a very potential species to be reared for marine aquarium fish. I remember bringing in some fry of this fish from Indonesia back in late 1990s and keept them in the salt water aquarium in my office. They look so marvelous under the aquarium lights, or even without lights. I do really love to see them swimming, they look so tender, so charming, so cute.

The mouse grouper is the star fish for fishing industry in South East Asian countries. Previously, due to high demand, the fish was highly sought out by the fishermen. By mid of 1990s, with some collaborations among international organisations, some research works on propagation of this fish has taken place. By 1996, there already reports of successes in natural spawning in tanks and larviculture of this fish. From there on, the improvement  of the techniques of induce spawning was introduced using hormones as well as environmental factors. This fish now were commonly produced by even small scale and backyard hatcheries in various countries.See alsoThe Aquaculture of Groupers for more details on the culture of this species.

Tun Sakaran Marine Park, Malaysia. The nearby coral areas was known for Mouse Grouper Production.
Photo: Sim See Hong
In Malaysia, at least 2 institutions did reported thier successes in propagating this species, i.e. DOF and UMS. Infact, there is a book published by UMS on the hatching techniques of this species. However, due to lack of broodstocks, not many hatcheries have the chance to produce this species in this countries.  Those operating their hatcheries in Sabah are lucky because of more easily  broodstocks availability of this species.

Distribution od C. altivelis.
In the wild, this species normally found in the coral area of Tropical waters from 32°N to 23°S, 88°E to 168°E. Western Pacific, running from southern of Japan to Palau, Guam, New Caledonia and southern Queensland, Australia, in the  Eastern Indian Ocean from Nicobar Islands to Broome, Western Australia. There are even reports from western Indian Ocean as far as from Kenya and from Hawai though this case was suspected originated from the aquarium release. In Malaysia, this species were found in the sea around Sabah. Based on my own experiences, the seas in the eastern part of Sabah is the place where catches of this species mainly reported, from Tawau to Kudat.

The price of this fish was reported as high as US$85.28/kilogram (RM270) in HongKong back in the year 2005. Based on that price, we may predict the current market price, taking into considerations of how many times of fuel price increase during last 5 years. No wonder the craze for technology of hatching, larviculture and growout of this fish remain strong among the researchers, hatchery operators and fish farmers in the region. I will try to review the hatching techniques used for this species in the future postings.


  1. Thank sir,
    I'm one of Aquaculture student in UMS now.
    Shall i have a visit to your place.??

    1. Hie Irawati, I thought UMS also have hatchery for Kerapu Tikus?
      I'm ex UMS student. I'm very looking forward to visit the hatchery. Can you bring me?