Dead fish found in the Bernam River may be the result of contamination of the water by farms, says Rusna.

Malaysia: Farms along river may be cause of fish deaths in Perak
By Loghun Kumaran, 6th April 2017;

A poultry farm in Kampung Kelawar is believed to be responsible for the large quantity of freshwater fish that has died in Bernam River since last December.

State executive councillor Datuk Rusnah Kassim said yesterday investigations into the source of the contamination led to the farm along Slim River.

However, she said, it was possible it was not the only polluter as there were other farms along the river.

“At the moment, we can only say it may have come from this farm. We are not certain yet,” the Behrang assemblyman told a press conference.

“However, based on our checks, the farm was discharging its sewage directly into the river. We have given the operator until May 31 to improve its sewage treatment system.

"If the rules are not adhered to, we won’t hesitate to shut it down or take further action.”

Rusnah said there had not been reports of residents falling sick from eating fish from the river.

The death of thousands of freshwater fish along the 30km stretch of Bernam River has left local fishermen in distress.

The chief of the Muallim District Fisheries Volunteers (SUPER) Saiful Zizuan Mahayuddin said the fishermen had reported four incidents of “mass deaths” since December.

During each of these incidents, scores of fish would swim in an erratic manner close to the surface and would end up dead the next day.

The association believed the contamination was caused by an industrial source, but was unable to pinpoint where the effluents were coming from.

Saiful said some fishermen reported their catch dropped by 70 per cent during these “mass deaths”.

“If the fish start to turn up dead today, we won’t get a good catch for about seven days. This is worrisome for the 200 inland fishermen in this area,” he said.

“It seems like an unending problem because we don’t know how long it will go on. All we know is that something is wrong.”

Saiful said the fishermen had lodged reports with the police, the Department of Environment, the Fisheries Department and the District Office.

He said there were about 70 species of freshwater fish in Bernam River, including baung (Catfish) (F. Bagridae), lampan (Tinfoil Barb) (Barbonymus schwanenfeldii), haruan (Snakehead Murrel) (Channa striata) and sebarau (Hampala Barb) (Hampala macrolepidota).

Like their colleagues around the country, inland fishermen along Bernam River rake in a fluctuating amount of money a day.

During a good month, they can catch RM 2,000 worth of fish but this number can decrease sharply.

“The fish here are highly sought after for their taste. This is because the Bernam River has largely remained unpolluted until now,” said Saiful.

“We need the authorities to act. They need to find the source of the contamination and shut it don immediately. Our livelihood is at stake.”

State Fisheries Department director Dr Bah Piyan Tan said water samples taken earlier this month found elevated levels of ammonia and acidity.

On March 27, fisheries officials found “quite acidic” pH levels of 5.8 and an ammonia content of 0.24ppm, which are above the normal levels.

On March 14, the pH level was 6.3, while the ammonia levels were down at 0.2ppm.

“These are not natural levels. Usually a river should have a neutral or slightly alkaline pH level,” said Bah Piyan.

Source: Malay Mail

Saroj Khamnarong shows dead fish from the polluted canal.
Photo: Methee Muangkaew

Thailand: Fish dying in polluted Trang canal
By Methee Muangkaew, 21st December 2015;

Large numbers of fish have died, with others clearly dying, in a heavily polluted canal at a village in tambon Na Muang Phet in Sikao district of Trang province, residents said.

Villagers living along Khlong Angthong said the fish began to die on Sunday evening. The canal smells foul, from both the polluted water and the dead fish.

They believed rubber-processing factories along the canal had discharged untreated water into the water.

Saroj Khamnarong, 41, a resident, said the pollution has damaged the eco-system.

With the average price of rubber only 3 baht per kilogramme, the villagers rely heavily on fish from local waterways for their livelihood. Now even that is being denied them, he said.

Source: Bangkok Post

The dead catfish appears to be an Asian Red-tailed Catfish (Hemibagrus wyckioides).

Malaysia: Thousands Of Fish In Sungai Bera, Serting Poisoned

9th February 2014;

Thousands of fish in Sungai Bera and Sungai Serting in the Bera area near here were found dead in the past week from poisoning or bombing activities by irresponsible individuals out to harvest fish.

This has threatened the livelihood of Orang Asli residents and settlers of the Triang Felda Cluster, who depend on catching fish from the two rivers for consumption and sale.

“They take advantage of the drop in the water level in the current draught season to harvest fish using poison or explosives,” said one of the Orang Asli residents, Deris a/l Panjang, 54, to Bernama, here, Saturday.

He said thousands of dead fish such as patin liar (wild silver catfish) (Pangasius sp.), baung (Mystus sp. catfish), lampam and kerai (barbs) (Barbonymus and Hypsibarbus sp., respectively) littered the surface of the rivers due to the illegal acts.

A settler from Triang Satu Felda, Ahmad Nazri Che Omar, 51, said, they dared not catch the remaining fish in the rivers fearing they could be poisoned and had resorted to seeking fish in nearby marshes for their own consumption.

Meanwhile, Kemayan assemblyman Mohd Fadzil Othman in urging the authorities to act against the culprits, also wanted the Village Security and Development Committee and the public to report to the authorities if they find out about illegal activities to poison fish in their areas.

Mohd Fadzil also advised the Orang Asli staying near the rivers against using water from the rivers for consumption as it could be poisoned.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia: Thousands Of Fish In Sungai Bera, Serting Poisoned