THE BIRTH OF K.A.G.U.M.
It all started with the MFN (Malaysia Fishing Network) fishing forum. In February of 2005, Tony Wee, the then-President of PeMM, started a thread with the idea of forming a group of guys to help the country conserve our rivers and their fishes. This got a group of MFN anglers excited. Many ideas were thrown into the pot and a first meeting was held.
Tony’s original idea was to have an informal email-based discussion group that follows up with actions on fish conservation. What entailed was bigger than that; the formation of a society itself! Hence KAGUM was born.
KAGUM stands for The Kelah Action Group of Malaysia. The group chose the kelah as the epitome of the Malaysian river fishes. This sport fish is seen by many Malaysian anglers as the most supreme sport fish in our rivers. It is a fish unique to our country and the region, and it represents the ultimate challenge to be pursued in beautiful natural surroundings. Now, both the fish and its beautiful environment are under threat.
Thus, the approach of KAGUM is purely voluntary: to help Malaysia save our rivers and their fishes, with particular focus on the kelah.
“Towards Malaysia being a mature eco-tourism destination with well-managed rivers and conserved gamefishes,
especially the kelah”
OBJECTIVES OF KAGUM:
1. To build awareness among the Malaysian public and relevant organisations on the importance of conserving the kelah and its habitat. In the process, we will gather relevant knowledge, and disseminate / share the learnings.
2. To initiate, participate and/or support relevant projects related to river and kelah conservation.
3. To support relevant eco-tourism programs which are geared towards river and kelah conservation.
4. To ensure that conservation or eco-tourism activities would involve and benefit the local communities.
These objectives thus cover the following areas:
1. Education & research
2. Conservation Projects
3. Eco-tourism promotion
4. Socio-economic support to local communities
In essence, KAGUM is a group of volunteers who conduct or help conduct river/fish conservation activities with minimal pomp or ceremony
KAGUM started by compiling and disseminating informative handouts on aspects of river and fish conservation; covering topics like ethical fishing, saving the rivers from pollution etc. The group participated at the recent 2005 Angling and Outdoor Recreation fair in South City Plaza, KL with a booth that displayed its activities and issues of conservation. It was very well received; we ran out of handouts!
Currently, the group is involved in river-cleanup activities in the areas near KL and the Klang Valley, to quietly promote this behaviour among the Malaysian public. It is also involved in co-organising an upcoming seminar on kelah and mahseer. KAGUM has also been invited by certain parties to help them assess conservation prospects of certain rivers and lakes.
How can you help?
If you feel strongly about the need to save our rivers and their fishes, you can help by:
• Joining KAGUM as a member. A member is a volunteer who
o loves the rivers and the fishes, and
o is committed to lend a helping hand in organising related activities.
• Join us in our activities, as and when you are free
• Contribute ideas to help us do a better job
• Contribute in cash or kind towards our activities
HELPING MALAYSIA SAVE THE KELAH
AND OTHER RIVER FISHES