|Photo by Inggol Ranggong|
Ikan Belida pr knife fish (also known as featherback fish) is a fresh water fish found in many rivers in Sarawak, especially in the Baram, Murum and Loagan Bunut (a national park near Miri). Where the rivers are clean with sunken wood bottoms the belida will survive well and reproduce. It feeds on small fishes, insects and vertebrates, mostly at night. Hence fishermen with torch lights can catch several of them with nets when the river water is clear.
Today the indigenous people of the Bakun area from time to time can enjoy netting a belida for their dinner.
Belida is a very clean fish and its flesh is good for making of fish balls. Sliced into steaks, deep fried belida is a delicacy. An expensive delicacy, belida fish crackers have become very rare. Belida fish balls are also a great delicacy favoured by Sarawakians who in the past have caught belida in their nets.
However today it is also a good aquarium species and its various varieties are all very pretty.
It is known as the feather back and its scientific name is Chilala lopis.
It is also found in Vietnam, Cambodia, Peninsula Malaysia, Kalimantan, Sumatra and Java.