Humpback Grouper (Cromileptes altivelis) is a tropical reef fish whose economic value is very high. It is also called Kerapu Tikus (meaning Mouse Grouper) because the tapered form of its mouth looks similar to the mouth of a mouse. I used to see the fish several times when I enjoyed snorkeling or scuba diving in West Papua. The last time I saw the expensive fish when I was diving in Raja Ampat. I was in the waters of an uninhabited island at a depth of around 20 meters (65.6 feet). I saw the grouper was hiding under a big leaf coral. I did not want to disturb the fish so, I took picture from a distance of around 5 meters. Seafood Restaurants offer various kinds of menus whose main ingredient was the meat of the Kerapu Tikus.
|Polka Dot Grouper in Coral Reef of Raja Ampat|
Because of its high economic values, aquaculture companies are trying to produce the fish in higher quantity through fish farming. Usually the seed stock is taken from coral reef.
In Raja Ampat the massive production of groupers has not been carried out by fishermen. Most of the fish that are supplied to local market is taken from the sea. So, the opportunity for investors to introduce aquaculture business in this region is very high.
|Marine Life in Raja Ampat|
Coral reef of Raja Ampat islands is the richest in the world in terms of marine biodiversity. Raja Ampat is a very important destination for marine tourism. However, its aquaculture business is still small.
by Charles Roring
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