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What is the difference between the Kurau (Indian Threadfin) and Senangin (Blue Threadfin Salmon)?

This post is meant as a supplement to this Batu Pahat catch report. Information and pictures taken from #fishidlessonsbydavidho.

Did you know that the Kurau and Senangin are totally different? This post aims to enable you to know the difference.

Name and Terminology
  • Kurau is known as Indian Giant Threadfin salmon/Kurau/黑午鱼/Orh Ngor
  • Senangin is known as Blue Threadfin salmon/Senangin/白午鱼/Pek Ngor/Ngor Soon
Eating Quality
  • Kurau is known the more premium species and is a popular fish for maternity purposes as it is believed to boost milk supply for new mothers. It is rare and big sized fish are hard to come by these days. Generally costs more than Senangin.
  • Senangin is less premium and is readily available in the market in various sizes. I have also seen that farming for it can be quite successful. 
Size Differences
If you do a Google search, you will realise that both can grow quite big. However, this is not a good comparison as geographically, there are differences in species size due to unique habitat and waters. e.g. the Australian Blue Salmon is able to grow to quite a huge size (as evidenced by their reports). Generally though, for the purpose of local waters (in Singapore), Kurau is the one that can grow to huge sizes (15-30kg) whereas we usually encounter the Senangin at sizes from 200g to 3kg. Any Senangin bigger than that is considered huge for our local waters. Therefore, most of the time, if you see a small threadfin, almost always likely to be Senangin and if you see a big threadfin, probably the Kurau. However, during a fishing trip, we fished up both small Senangin and Kurau! Then how to tell the difference? Scroll down...

How to tell the difference?
Picture edited and reproduced by permission.
According to David, Senangin has only 4 pectoral filaments on each side as opposed to 5 of a Kurau and Senangin also has relatively larger eyes than Kurau.

Another key difference is the dorsal fin alignment (see above picture for visual representation).
  • Kurau has an anterior aligned second dorsal fin to it's anal fin.
  • Senangin has a straight vertically aligned second dorsal to anal fin. 
Credits and more pictures:


Unknown said…
Great,I was so complicated with kurau and senangin now I know better tks very much
Nigel said…
No problem, glad this helped you!
Unknown said…
Tq 4 the info... I bought kurau as i thought it was senangin. then the seller told me it was kurau. As for me, senangin test better...senangin masak kari the best..
Anonymous said…
Tq 4 the info... I bought kurau as i thought it was senangin. then the seller told me it was kurau. As for me, senangin test better...senangin masak kari the best..
Nigel said…
No problem. Senangin taste better when small. When it gets bigger not so good.

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