Kampung Mumiang Village Development and Security Committee head Mada Hussin (right) and government officers who went to the site to investigate showing the size of some of the dead fish.

Photos: Land and Empowerment Animals People (LEAP)

Malaysia: Kampung Mumiang villagers want answers for loss of livelihood
By Sandra Sokia, 27th November 2015;

Costing them over RM100,000 worth of their livelihood, villagers in Malaysia’s largest Ramsar site who lost seven tonnes of caged fish overnight want answers on what caused their stock of Groupers (SubF. Epinephelinae), Snappers (F. Lutjanidae) and other types of fish to die.

They had noticed something amiss with the fish, reared in 50 cages, before dawn on Nov 20 and by day break their worst fears were confirmed, says Kampung Mumiang Village Development and Security Committee head Mada Hussin.

“We were shocked to find all the fish floating dead in their cages although we had tried to revive them the next morning.”

“Villagers usually keep some fish for their own consumption and sell the rest. We have lost everything,” he said in a statement, adding losses could run as high as RM100,000 leaving some 50 families in a dilemma as they no longer depend on catching fish at the nearby river due to dwindling stocks.

Kampung Mumiang is located at the estuary of the Kinabatangan River and is about an hour away by speed boat from Sandakan.

Villagers immediately notified the relevant agencies and were now waiting for results of samples taken by the Fisheries Department, adding that they were also keen to know findings made by the Department of Environment and the Sabah Forestry Department.

Mada said villagers believed that the fish were wiped out by pollutants that had flowed from an oil palm estate into the Malangking River, a tributary of the Kinabatangan.

Villagers had earlier noticed a body of algal rich water in the tributary from that estate wash into the area.

“Prior to this incident, there was heavy rain for five days in a row. This may have washed pollutants from an agricultural estate into the river and impacted its quality.”

“The last time we lost fish on this scale was about four years ago. This time, we must be compensated, but first we need the authorities to provide us with reports of their investigations.”

He said despite the fact that the village was located within the Lower Kinabatangan-Segama Wetlands Ramsar site, the conservation area recently discussed at the International Heart of Borneo Conference in Kota Kinabalu, villagers were not secure due to the impact caused by plantations and other external factors.

Commenting on the incident, Forever Sabah director Cynthia Ong said the consequences of such tragic events were typically associated with oxygen depletion in “dead zones” caused by fertilisers, palm oil mill effluents, disturbed peat soil or other nutrients, wiping out whole areas of marine life and breeding grounds.

“These areas are important for biodiversity, including fish eating birds and mammals, and can damage even offshore fisheries.”

“Studies in Malaysia and around the world show fisheries sustained by healthy mangroves are worth hundreds of dollars per hectare to the Sabah economy. It is not right that anyone’s poor land management should make others pay those costs,” Ong said.

Sukau assemblyman Datuk Saddi Abdul Rahman had on Tuesday called for the matter to be investigated as part of his talking points at a debate at the State Legislative Assembly sitting.

Source: The Rakyat Post

Malaysia: Kampung Mumiang residents hope for compensation for their ‘caged fish’ loss

27th November 2015;

Villagers in Malaysia’s largest Ramsar site who lost seven tonnes of Groupers (SubF. Epinephelinae), Snappers (F. Lutjanidae) and other types of caged fish overnight are hoping for some form of compensation.

“Before dawn on Nov 20, we already noticed something amiss with the fish reared in 50 cages.

"By daybreak our worst fears were confirmed. The fish were all floating lifeless,” said Kampung Mumiang Village Development and Security Committee chairman Mada Hussin.

The residents suspect the cause to be pollutants from an oil palm estate, which might have flowed into the Malangking river, a tributary of the Kinabatangan following heavy rain for five consecutive days.

Kampung Mumiang is located at the estuary of the Kinabatangan river and is about an hour away by speed boat from Sandakan.

“The last time we lost fish at this scale was about four years ago. This time, we must be compensated but first, we need the authorities to provide us with reports of their investigations,” said Mada.

In a statement released through Forever Sabah, a multi stakeholder programme to support Sabah’s transition to a diversified, equitable, circular economy, he said the caged fish farm was a major source of income for the residents.

“We usually keep some fish for our own consumption and sell the rest. We have lost everything,” he said.

Losses could run as high as RM100,000 leaving some 50 families in a dilemma as they had ceased catching fish at the nearby river due to dwindling stocks.

Having immediately notified the relevant agencies, the residents are now waiting for results of samples taken by the Fisheries Department.

They are also keen to know the findings of the Department of Environment and Sabah Forestry Department.

On Tuesday at the State Legislative Assembly, Sukau Assemblyman Datuk Saddi Abdul Rahman called for the matter to be investigated.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia: Kampung Mumiang residents hope for compensation for their ‘caged fish’ loss

Shell of Winged Argonaut with aperture facing upwards. Photograph by Letchumi d/o Mani

Winged Argonaut (Argonauta hians shell at Semakau Landfill

Location, date and time: Singapore Strait, Semakau Landfill, western part; 12 November 2015; 1600 hrs.

Observation: As shown in the attached picture, a shell of a female argonaut was found stranded and half-submerged among the roots of a bakau tree (Rhizophora sp.). A hole was observed on the lateral side of the thin, boxy shell of about 8 cm.

Remarks: This appears to be the second record of a Winged Argonaut shell found in Singapore. The first record for the country was also at Semakau Landfill (Lee et al., 2015).

Reference:

  • Lee B. Y, S. K. Tan & M. E. Y. Low, 2015. Singapore Mollusca: 9. The family Argonautidae, with a new record of Argonauta hians (Cephalopoda: Octopoda: Argonautoidea). Nature in Singapore. 8: 15-24.

Source: Singapore Biodiversity Records 2015: 185

Migratory Black Bittern (Ixobrychus flavicollis) found dead in Singapore. Body was moved before I arrived so cause of death is likely impossible to determine barring an autopsy.

Source: David Tan, on Dead Birds Facebook Group

An uncommon winter visitor to Singapore, and one of our more elusive bird species, the Black Bittern is a spectacular bird that lives within the thick vegetation of freshwater swamps and wetlands.

This bird, however, was found nowhere near a wetland habitat, and was instead found dead at the void deck of Block 226 at Pasir Ris St. 21, and was likely to have been dazed by the bright urban lights prior to having met with its untimely end.

Source: David Tan Instagram