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

Malaysia: Fish die by the thousands
11th August 2016;

The sudden appearance of thousands of dead fish and thousands more struggling to stay alive at a man-made lake in Taman Jubli Emas has brought a windfall to nearby villagers.

The villagers flocked to the lake to scoop up thousands of fish floating there.

The surrounding areas were scattered with dead fish, waiting for park workers to collect them for disposal.

Fish pellet seller Abdul Nasir Abdul, 46, said he found the various types of fish floating on the water since Monday while he was trading at the recreation park.

“They were floating as if they lacked oxygen and many of them died,” said Abdul Nasir when met near the lake.

“I have been selling fish pellets here since four years ago.

"This is the first time so many fish died at one go,” he said.

A visitor, Shahril Yaacob, 38, of Taman Wira Mergong, chose to catch ikan ubi (Marbled Gudgeon) (Oxyeleotris marmorata) as it fetched a good market price of about RM40 per kilo.

“I will provide oxygen for the fish at home and when they recover, I will sell them to my Chinese friends who like them.

"So far, I have brought back more than 100kg of various types of fish comprising lampam (likely Java Barb) (Barbonymus gonionotus), Tilapia (Oreochromis sp.), kap (Carp) (F. Cyprinidae), udang kertas (Prawns), jelawat (Sultan Fish) (Leptobarbus hoevenii) and ikan ubi.

"I made about RM300 from selling the fish,” he said.

Halijah Ismail, 75, of Kampung Masjid, Kubang Rotan, has been going to the lake since two days ago to collect the fish.

She prefers lampam while her son-in-law likes ikan ubi and Tilapia.

“I use the fish to prepare perkasam, fry or make a three-flavour dish for my family,” she said.

Halijah said she would give some of them to neighbours.

Her son-in-law sold ikan ubi and Tilapia and had earned about RM180 so far.

Meanwhile, State Secretary Datuk Bakar Din said the cause of death could be lack of oxygen due to the huge number of fish in the lake and a malfunctioning water pump.

“I have directed the Fishery Department to find out the actual cause,” he said.

He also ordered the State Economy Planning Unit to monitor the recreation park and to repair the pump.

Source: The Star

Photos of a mass fish death event in a man-made lake in Taman Jubli Emas, Kedah. Most of the fishes pictured here appear to be Tilapia (Oreochromis sp.), as well as some Java Barb (Barbonymus gonionotus) and Sultan Fish (Leptobarbus hoevenii).

Source: Anak-Anak Darulaman Facebook

Officers suspect that the high temperatures caused hypoxia in the pond, killing the shrimp and fish.
Photos: Kritsada Mueanhawong

Thailand: One tonne of dead fish found in Phuket park
By Kritsada Mueanhawong, 22nd April 2016;

A large number of fish and shrimp have died in a pond in Suan Luang Park in Phuket Town from either a rise in temperature or polluted water, confirmed officials.

“The local community around the park has complained about the dead fish,” said Phuket City Deputy Mayor Thavorn Jirapattanasophon. “About one tonne of dead fish have been found since Wednesday, including Java Barb (Barbonymus gonionotus), Catfish (Siluriformes), Snakehead (F. Channidae), Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), shrimp and numerous others.”

Mayor Thavorn headed the clean-up project, directing officials to collect water samples from the pond, so the water quality could be tested.

“Our initial tests suggest that the water is safe,” said Mayor Thavorn. “It is most likely that due to the high water temperatures, there is a lack of oxygen in the pond, which is causing this phenomenon.”

Similar incidents have taken place several times in the past.

On March 23, it was reported that Krabi officials had to bury about five tonnes of dead fish that died under similar conditions (story here).

Source: Phuket Gazette