Festival with focus on fish conservation

One of many local events that has been gaining international attention is the Semadang River Tagang Fishing Festival, which returns for its 4th edition this year. It’s an interesting festival that is the first of its kind – one that revolves around the tagang system.

Introduced to the people of Kampung Semadang by the Agricultural Department of Sarawak back in 2007, the tagang system is a fish conservation programme that has been successful in preserving high-value fish species in the Semadang River. Implemented in certain parts of the river, the system prohibits any fishing in those areas except once a year during the Semadang River Tagang Fishing Festival. This responsible method of fish harvesting ensures that the fish have ample time to mature and even breed. The villagers in turn will have a healthy supply of fresh fish for consumption once every year.

To make sure fish continue to thrive at the selected areas of the Semadang River where the tagang system is implemented, fish fry will be released into the river every year. Smaller sized fish or those of breeding size that are captured during the harvest will also be released back into the river. This ensures that they continue to grow and breed.

Meanwhile, fishing is not the only activity held during the Semadang River Tagang Fishing Festival. There will be a host of other activities, including cooking competitions, bamboo rafting contest and even a Miss Tagang beauty pageant. Be sure to check out the pop-up bazaar, where locals sell snacks and refreshing drinks, even handicrafts as well as vegetables harvested from the jungle itself.

The festival is held amidst a natural setting of pristine waters that snake through the evergreen jungle between Kampung Semadang and Kampung Danu in Penrissen. This means that participants and visitors also get to be close to nature and enjoy a much-needed escape after a long stressful week at work. The fresh and clear water of the Semadang River entices you to jump in for a swim. Also while you’re there, grab the opportunity to cross the suspension bridge at Kampung Semadang, which can be very wobbly. It is after all one of the highlights every time visitors come to the village.

With more than just the event itself to experience, the Semadang River Tagang Fishing Festival is definitely a must-go! This year’s edition will include a new activity – gong beating and cultural dance competition. A cultural troupe from Pontianak, Indonesia has also been specially invited to partake in the competition.

The festival is organised by JKKK Kampung Semadang and Kampung Semadang Tagang System Committee and Department of Agriculture Sarawak. For more information, call Robert Kenneth at +6013 2036 553 or email to [email protected]

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