NEW OYSTER SPECIES DISCOVERY

 

It has been confirmed that Malaysia has its own oyster species –  a new  oyster species that is only found at the estuary of  Muar River as well as coastal lines of Kesang and not found anywhere else in the world. According to Dr Nur Leena Wong who is a researcher from the International Institute of Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences (I-AQUAS), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), the name of this oyster species is Crassostrea (Magallana) saidii. This oyster is named as Crassostrea (Magallana) saidii  in recognition of the efforts made by Mr  Md Saidi Mohamed who has been actively promoting research and conservation for the sustainability of this oyster since 2013. This name recognises his dedication, commitment, passion, and discovery of the new species.

According  to Dr Nur Leena Wong, the result of research collaboration between Queen’s University Belfast and Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) has confirmed the identity of the oyster through a  deoxyribonucleic acid test (DNA).

Other readings: AstroAWANI(Malay)Greenreport(Italian)学术(Chinese)SinarHarian(Malay),  ITV(English)

ABOUT MD SAIDI  MOHAMED

Md Saidi Mohamed  started his observation and research on oyster population which was found at the estuary of Muar River, Johor, Malaysia since 2013. Various activities were carried out afterwards by collaborating with various parties such as  Maktab Koperasi Malaysia (MKM), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and Universiti Tun Hussein Onn (UTHM). He also communicated with various TV channels and other media platforms to promote this oyster species – TV1,TV3, TV9, Sin Chew newspaper as well as  travel agencies.

He founded Oyster Reef Enterprise because he realized that the oyster  population was at its declining stage. He believed that Oyster Reef Enterprise  would facilitate a smooth cooperation with Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), with the aim of conserving the species. As the founder of Oyster Reef Enterprise he continued this collaboration to further the research on this new oyster species for future potentials and benefit of Malaysians.

Click here for his contribution to UPM.

OYSTER ON TV

SCIENCE JOURNAL – Crassostrea (M.) saidii

A science journal about this new oyster species was published on October 12, 2021. This journal says on its page 7, “Named for Md Saidi Bin Mohamed, from Muar, Malaysia, who has been actively promoting research and conservation for the sustainability of this oyster since 2013. This name recognises his dedication, commitment, passion, and discovery of the new species”.

Click here for its science journal .

HOW WE PICK OYSTERS?

The activity of collecting oysters is very unique here because oysters are being collected during low tide by traditional fishermen who dived into the water in small boats. Oysters are being collected from its muddy bottom at a depth of 15 to 20 feet. These fishermen are not wearing swimming equipment such as oxygen gas to collect the oysters, that is why this activity is very unique. Would you like to see them picking oysters?

HISTORY

It is written in a journal entitle “The Journal Of The Indian Archipelago And Eastern Asia by J.R. Logan (1858) that the River of Kassang was famous of its oysters. It says “The mouth of the river is famous for its oyster beds, the fish being very large and of excellent flavor”. River of Kassang is known as Sungai Kesang. It is located in Tangkak District. We are still lucky to be able to see the oyster population at the estuary of Muar River and coastal lines of Kesang today.

Current oyster population at Muar River is showing that it is at the brink of extinction

LIFE CYCLE

Oyster’s life cycle was studied since 2013 at the estuary of Muar River. Below is its cycle:

Please click here to see baby oysters (larvae) .

FUTURE

The oyster species that is found at the estuary of Muar River and the coastal lines of Kesang has been confirmed is of new species and only found here! Nowhere on earth you can find this type of oyster species. We are proud that we are able to trace their existence back to year 1858 and bring the outcome of the research to the public.

The future of this oyster species lies on the following successes:

1)Create awareness on the importance of oyster population. This discovery is hopefully will become an opening eye for various parties to understand the importance of  oyster population. It is a crucial component of global ocean health. It can filter and clean the surrounding water and provide habitat for various sea creatures, food, and jobs. In some places, oyster reefs can serve as barriers to storms and tides, preventing erosion and protecting productive estuary waters. Awareness need to be created globally as the shrinkage issues are happening worldwide. We need a good corporate citizen to do its CSR to take this challenge, maybe.

2)To restore oyster population (oyster reef restoration). Oyster population is shrinking all over the world – this is also happening to this specific oyster species.  As per  J.R. Logan (1858) , Kesang River was recorded as famous for its oysters – maybe it is best to start this program here.

3)Promote hatchery as a better alternative.  Traditional method of picking oysters by diving into the river during low tides is very risky since this activity is subject to fatal jelly fish. Moreover, current oyster population trend is at an alarming rate of its extinction. Efforts must be made immediately to ensure oyster supply is sufficient by producing oyster seeds in laboratory. Hatchery is more sustainable solution compared to traditional method – thanks to University Putra Malaysia for spearheading this activity.

The success of this research will definitely make  oyster  a new source of income for Malaysians. As such, we are offering strategic collaborations to all government and public sectors to make this dream  come true.

EXOTIC FOOD

One of the dishes available  is called Oyster Shooter. Oysters are somewhat irregular in shape and are consumed cooked or raw. For some societies, oysters are regarded as exotic food. It is said that zinc and other contents in oysters are essential for testosterone production and maintenance of healthy sperm. It will also boost dopamine, a hormone that promotes libido in both women and men.

TASTY OYSTER

Eating an oyster at our restaurant is very nice and its flavor is explosive as it comes straight from the brackish water of Muar River and coastal lines of Kesang. You eat it just moments after it has been plucked and shucked. It is said that the oysters from these places taste best. It was recorded in a journal that oysters from here were famous and they had been reserved for the Sultan and the officials (R. Hanitsch, 1908). One of the dishes available at our restaurant is called Oyster Shooter.

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