17 November 2009

Flooding kills marinelife

As weather warnings are issued today, there reports that caged-fish breeders in Kota Baru lost almost RM500,000 when their fishes died following a drop in salinity due to flooding.
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Mass deaths on Chek Jawa in 2007.

In 2007, following massive flooding in Johor, there were mass deaths on Chek Jawa. Kok Sheng did a project to study the aftermath, find out more on his project blog.

Let's hope the shores are spared a similar onslaught this coming monsoon season.

Fish not killed by poison
New Straits Times 16 Nov 09;

KOTA BARU: The State Fisheries Department has rebuffed claims by fish breeders in the Sri Tujuh lagoon that their fish including siakap and tilapia worth RM500,000 had died of poisoning on Monday.

Instead, the department believes the death was caused by low salinity content in the water, which was brought about by the recent floods.

A spokesman from the department said salinity in a water sample from the lagoon was found to be only five parts per thousand (ppt) after an analysis was carried out by the Chemistry Department in Terengganu. For the species of fish to survive well, the salinity should be 10 ppt.

He said laboratory test on samples of dead fish had also found that the fish did not die of poisoning.

The spokesman said the department believed that the lower salinity was caused by floodwaters flowing into the area.

A total of 117 fish breeders at the lagoon suffered the losses when their fish were found dead.

Caged-Fish Breeders Face RM500,000 Losses
Bernama 11 Nov 09;

TUMPAT, Nov 11 (Bernama) -- A total of 117 caged-fish breeders of Sri Tujuh lagoon lost almost RM500,000 when their fishes were found dead on Monday.

One of the fish breeders, Yaakob Kasim, 72, said he only noticed the dead fish on Monday morning.

"That day I saw the fish in my 46 cages rise to the surface as if out of oxygen," he told reporters here Wednesday.

Yaakob said his losses amounted to almost RM12,000 following the death of 700kg of siakap and kerapu (grouper) fish.

"I couldn't sell them. I managed to sell some really cheap at about RM5 a kilo compared with RM17 per kilo of fresh fish," he said.

He claimed that the cause of death was flood waters released from canals by the Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID).

"Flood waters from the canals are dirty and toxic which caused our fish to run out of oxygen and die," he said.

Another breeder, Abdul Ghani Shafie, 38, said he tried to save some of his fish by pumping water into the cages to add oxygen.

"I had to try although there is no guarantee that the fish will continue to live," he said, adding that he incurred losses of about RM30,000.

Abdul Ghani said the department should have informed the breeders prior to opening the canals.

Meanwhile, Sri Tujuh Lagoon Fish Breeders Association chairman Yusof Mamat said the DID or the Fisheries Department should do something to minimise their losses.

-- BERNAMA

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