The malaysian mahseer, locally known as Ikan Kelah, is an important and charismatic fish in the Kenyir region. The fish represents an important source of income for commercial fisherman as its flesh is highly prized (fetching a high price of RM15-25/kg) and it is a target of recreational fisherman due to its size and renowned fighting abilities. The Kelah sanctuary in the Petang river provides a major tourist attraction for the area where people go to hand feed and swim with these fish.
The Mahseer reintroduction programme at UMT aims to ensure the proliferation of Tor species that are currently threatened with extinction and maintain fish stocks, as a resource, at a sustainable level. This program aims to supplement the natural stock in the Kenyir region by reintroducing 50,000 captive bred juveniles.