Cruel fate: The carcass of a young Turtle found by Sharifah Ruqaiyah on an island in Terengganu where fishermen used to dump the dead animals.
Photo: WWF-Malaysia

Malaysia: 90 Turtles die this year mostly due to ’pukat pari’ – Nawawi
28th December 2016;

A total of 90 Turtles were found dead this year after getting entangled in the ’pukat pari’ (ray fishing nets), said Terengganu Fisheries Department director Nawawi Ali.

He said following the situation, the department destroyed 40 units of the net and would take legal action against individuals who flouted the regulations.

“Although the death rate among Turtles is high, it is still (considered) balanced as we’re able to produce 500,000 hatchlings out of 600,000 Turtle eggs incubated this year,” he said.

Nawawi was speaking to reporters after handing over school assistance to the orphans and children of fishermen at the Malaysian Academy of Fisheries in Cendering, near Kuala Terengganu today.

He said there were 60 Turtles found dead last year due to its low rate of Turtle landing compared to this year.

Most of the turtles which landed and laid eggs in the state were the Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) while the Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) were no longer in the picture since the past several years, said Nawawi.

He added Pantai Jakar in Kemaman had become the nesting location for these Turtles compared to other beaches before this, such as Pulau Redang, Pulau Perhentian and Ma’daserah (Dungun).

Source: Bernama

Malaysia: Villagers urge Govt to review sample collection policies


19th September 2016;

Having twice lost valuable caged fish within 10 months to what appears to be river pollution, a community in Malaysia’s largest Ramsar site wants the government to review its policies on collecting water and other relevant samples.

One recommendation is for agencies entrusted with investigating such cases to relook at their standard operating procedures (SOP) as the delay in collecting samples does not translate into data that would be useful for mitigation or enforcement measures.

In July, Mumiang Village Development and Security Committee head, Mada Hussin had said 45 families lost four tonnes of caged fish such as Groupers (SubF. Epinephelinae) and Snappers (F. Lutjanidae) worth thousands of ringgit.

He said some caged fish were worth up to RM50 per kilogramme, a lucrative alternative economic activity for villagers who traditionally depended on catching fish but were no longer able to, due to dwindling stocks.

Mada said results of water and fish samples collected by the state fisheries department, environmental protection department and the federal Department of Environment were not shared with fishermen at Kampung Mumiang, following cases of suspected pollution last November and two months ago.

“It would be useful to hold a dialogue with the relevant agencies so that we can collaborate and look at the possibility of appointing water quality wardens from the community.

"We propose sampling stations be set up so that these community wardens can collect samples quickly. We also need to see how data collected by the community can be recognised.

"The relevant agencies must also frequently collect samples. The loss of aquatic biodiversity in the Lower Kinabatangan is an issue that impacts us and which is close to our hearts,” he said in a statement here today.

After the estimated RM100,000 losses last November, villagers received fish stocks from the government based on a subsidy mechanism and supplemented the supply by purchasing more.

“Now, most from this new stock have been destroyed. We only managed to salvage a few fish, the moment we noticed something amiss,” he said.

Mada believed the Malangking river, a tributary of the Kinabatangan was polluted with run-offs from an oil palm estate, especially when it rained heavily.

The waterway then turned light green, indicating algae-rich water which then impacted caged fish reared downstream.

Reacting to what happened in Mumiang, Ramsar Community Group Project lead facilitator Neville Yapp said a key focus of the project was related to water quality.

“We need the government to be supportive of this, including how data collected by the community can be taken as valid. We have identified the setting up of four water quality monitoring units in the near future under this project,” he said.

The Ramsar Community Group project falls under Forever Sabah, an ecology of partnerships that works to transform innovative visions for Sabah’s future into actionable solutions.

Mumiang is located in the Lower Kinabatangan Segama Wetlands, has no road access and is about an hour’s journey by speedboat from Sandakan town.

Mada said villagers had no choice but to continue rearing caged fish despite the risk of once again losing their fish in future.

“This has become a nightmare for us as there is not much else we can do here to earn a livelihood. We have families to raise and food to put on the table,” he said.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia: Villagers urge Govt to review sample collection policies

Malaysia: Turtle death rate on the rise between January and April

30th March 2016;

The death toll of Turtles rises every year between January and April when they get entangled in fishing nets or are hit by propellers of boats carrying tourists.

Institute of Oceanography and Environment, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT), Turtle Research Unit (SEATRU) project head Dr Juanita Joseph said this has been proven through a study conducted by the unit.

She said although it is the monsoon season now, the number of fishermen going to sea was high because there’ll be an increased amount of fish.

“The use of trawl nets will harm Turtles and this should be monitored to prevent their deaths in the future,” Dr Juanita said when contacted by Bernama here today.

Dr Juanita said this when asked to comment on the death of two Turtles within two days in a row on Batu Buruk beach, Kuala Terengganu and in Dungun today believed to have been caused when the Turtles got entangled in fishermen’s nets.

“Usually after April, there will be a drop in Turtle deaths. If any death does occur it will be due to being hit by tourist boat propellers. This is because after April, the resort islands in the Terengganu will open to tourists and the risk of being hit by tourist boats are high.”

Source: Bernama

Malaysia: Turtle death rate on the rise between January and April

Malaysia: Cage fish breeders incur loss of RM400,000 due to hot weather

29th March 2016;

Two breeders who reared fish in cages claimed losses of almost RM400,000 when their ikan patin (Iridescent Shark Catfish) (Pangasianodon hypophthalmus) and Tilapia (Oreochromis sp.) died two weeks ago, believed to be due to the hot weather.

Sabarudin Osman, 46, and Hamdan Ros Mat Derus, 53, who operated fish farming with cages in Kampung Herlang here, said this was the first time they experienced the death of such large quantities of fish since they started operating the fish cages in 1995.

“There have been cases of fish dying from the heat before this, but it was not as serious as this. Now, every time I want to visit the fish pond, my heart pounds because definitely I’ll find dead fish floating,” he said when contacted here today this.

Sabaruddin, who operates 50 cages of ikan patin and 40 fish cages of Tilapia in the downstream of Sungai Pahang, also did not rule out the possibility that he might be forced to temporarily shut down operations if the caged fish continue to die.

Meanwhile, in Tanjong Karang, three areas under paddy cultivation stretching 760 hectares located in Sabak Bernam, near here, have been identified to be affected by the El Niño phenomenon.

Integrated Agriculture Development Area (IADA) Northwest Selangor, managing director Eliyas Saad said the situation affects 380 farmers in Pasir Panjang, Sungai Leman and Sungai Nipah.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia: Cage fish breeders incur loss of RM400,000 due to hot weather

Malaysia: Breeder links fish death to El Niño phenomenon

25th March 2016;

The rise in the temperature of sea water brought on by the El Niño phenomenon is believed to have killed more than 5,000 hybrid Grouper (Epinephelus spp.) at a fish farm here in Labuan.

Breeder Chia Hock Chok said the cross-bred fish had been dying over the past one month, and he had incurred losses of more than RM5,000.

The 20-cage fish farm at Kg Lubok Temiang has stopped breeding of the fish since.

“I will have to wait until the weather returns to normal. There is no more fish in my cages now,” he said.

Another breeder, Ahmad Zaini Zainal Abidin, said he had to take extra care of the hybrid Grouper in his four cages at the popular tourist spot of Patau-Patau 1 Water Village which currently had about 300 fish, including fry.

“The fish are still unaffected by the current hot weather, but I need to take extra care as I cannot afford to incur losses,” he said.

Ahmad Zaini was among the breeders here who had received government support through the Labuan Fisheries Department.

Department director Anuar Salam Sulaiman advised the affected breeder to lodge a report with his department for assistance.

“We hope we can assist the affected breeder. As soon as we receive the report, we will conduct an analysis to determine the cause of death of the fish, whether it was due to the weather or water management,” he said.

Source: Bernama

There are several hybrids between various species of Grouper currently being raised in Southeast Asian waters; one of the more common varieties is the so-called Sabah Grouper (Epinephelus fuscoguttatus x Epinephelus lanceolatus), although other hybrids are also being farmed for human consumption.

Malaysia: Breeder links fish death to El Niño phenomenon

Malaysia: El Niño: Thousands of fish fry die, breeders incur heavy losses

17th March 2016;

About 10,000 Carp (F. Cyprinidae), Snapper (F. Lutjanidae) and Grouper (SubF. Epinephelinae) fish fry bred in Kuala Sangga and Kuala Sepetang have died due to the hot and dry weather caused by the current El Niño phenomenon sweeping the country.

The death of tens of thousands of fish fry has cost fish farmers hundreds of thousands of ringgit.

Breeder Chuah Thye Guan, 50, said he put thousands of Carp fish fry in the cages last week, but was shocked to find them all dead.

“I found the sea water had receded to the bottom due to the hot weather, causing the fish fry in the cages to die because of the lack of oxygen.

"We are forced to use a generator set to insert oxygen into the nets,” he told Bernama, here, Thursday.

Chuah claimed that he had incurred losses of more than RM100,000.

He said the caged fish farming industry faced the threat during the hot season and this was the second time he had been affected after 2009.

Another breeder, who only wanted to be known as Ong, said he had also lost more than RM100,000 due to the hot weather and rising temperature of the sea water.

Kuala Sangga and Kuala Sepetang have about eight caged fish breeders.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia: El Niño: Thousands of fish fry die, breeders incur heavy losses

Malaysia: Dead Dugong washed ashore in Kota Tinggi

19th February 2016;

A dead Dugong was found washed ashore at Pantai Tanjung Logok, near Kota Tinggi Friday.

Johor Fisheries Department director, Munir Mohd Nawi said the animal known by its scientific name Dugong dugon was found by members of the public at about 10 am before they alerted the department.

“After being informed, fisheries officers went to Pantai Tanjung Logok and found a Dugong carcass on the beach. It had started to decompose,” he said when contacted.

Munir said Dugongs were usually injured and killed after being hit by boat engine blade but the department would wait for a post-mortem to identify the actual cause of Dugong’s death.

He said judging from the external conditions, the Dugong was believed dead for more than 24 hours.

He said the department had so far been unable to determine where the Dugong came from and did not rule out the possibility it was dead much earlier before drifting onto the beach.

Touching on the Dugong species, Munir said the Johor state government had allocated RM1 million this year to develop a Dugong sanctuary in the area between Pulau Tinggi and Pulau Sibu, near Mersing.

“Under the sanctuary plan, the centre which is expected to start operation this year could accommodate 50 Dugongs,” he said.

According to Munir, the Johor Fisheries Department and the Johor state governmment would be developing the area as a sanctuary as it is rich in seaweeds which is a major food source of Dugongs.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia: Dead Dugong washed ashore in Kota Tinggi

Malaysia: Carcass found at Semerah that of male Sei Whale

10th February 2016;

A carcass found at the estuary of Sungai Sarang Buaya, Semerah near Batu Pahat is that of an adult male Sei Whale (NOT a Sei Whale, it was a Bryde’s Whale!).

The mammal’s scientific name is Balaenoptera borealis and is the third largest Whale species in the world.

Fisheries Research Institute research officer Mohd Tamimi Ali Ahmad said the 12-metre long Whale weighing 15 tonnes was an endangered species listed by the International Union For Conservation of Nature.

“The Whale may have become disoriented after being separated from its group and then beached at Pantai Rambah, Pontian, two days ago. Its internal organs might have been damaged,” he told reporters at the Batu Pahat Fishing Jetty here Wednesday.

The carcass, which was found at 6pm yesterday was towed 15 nautical miles by a fishing boat at noon today, and left on the jetty using a crane, about three hours later.

Mohd Tamimi said the presence of Whales in Malaysian waters was common, given it was their usual route to seek small organisms, plankton, fish fry or shrimp.

“We will carry out an autopsy before the meat is disposed while the bones will be taken back to FRI in Rantau Abang, Terengganu.

This is the fourth death involving Sei Whales in Malaysia in the last 10 years after Pulau Carey in Selangor, Nenasi (Pahang) and Banting (Selangor).

Batu Pahat Maritime Enforcement Agency Malaysia chief, Lieutenant Commander Muhammad Zulkifli Abdullah said the Whale had swum 90 nautical miles from Pontian and beached at Semerah.

"The Whale which was found alive by fishermen at 4pm yesterday, died after it was stuck in the mud for about two hours,” he added.

Meanwhile, fisherman Ismail Sirat, 47, who spent three hours to rescue the Whale found on Rambah beach with 11 others, was sad to hear the Whale had died at 7.30pm.

“A friend told me that a Whale was found dead in Batu Pahat and urged me to watch a video footage showing the Whale still alive.

"I regret to hear the Whale had died as I have yet to recover from the tiring rescue efforts. I was hoping the Whale would live,” he said.

Video footage showing the Whale while it was still alive has since gone viral.

Source: Bernama

Based on the video footage and photos taken during the rescue of the Whale on Monday, the Whale rescued near Pontian on Monday appeared to have three longitudinal ridges along the upper edge of the rostrum, suggesting that this is more likely to be a Bryde’s Whale (Balaenoptera edeni); all other rorquals, including the Sei Whale, have only a single ridge along the upper edge of the rostrum. The photo of the carcass in The Rakyat Post also shows three ridges, indicating that it’s a Bryde’s Whale. The taxonomy of the Bryde’s Whale is still far from settled; what we call the Bryde’s Whale has been split into two subspecies or even distinct species by some authorities: the true Bryde’s Whale, a larger species found in tropical and warm temperate waters worldwide (Balaenoptera brydei), and the Sittang or Eden’s Whale, a smaller form that may be restricted to coastal waters of the Indo-Pacific (Balaenoptera edeni). Both species(?) have been recorded from tropical waters of Southeast Asia.

Malaysia: Carcass found at Semerah that of male Sei Whale

Photos: The Malaysian Insider and The Borneo Post

Malaysia: Tiger Hit By MPV On LPT2 Dies
6th February 2016;

An adult Malayan Tiger (Panthera tigris jacksoni) hit by a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) at KM 321.2 of the East Coast Expressway 2 (LPT2), here succumbed to injuries early this morning.

The incident was believed to have occurred at about 1.00 am as the Tiger tried to cross the road before it was hit by the Kuala Terengganu-bound MPV from Kuala Lumpur.

State Public Order and Traffic chief, Supt Kamaluddin Mohamad who confirmed the incident said the driver and three passengers in the vehicle were unhurt.

He also advised LPT 2 road users to be cautious when driving along the highway especially at night, as it was common for wild animals to wander onto the road.

“Watch out for animals such as Deer (F. Cervidae), Tapir (Tapirus indicus), Wild Boar (Sus scrofa) as well as Goats (Capra hircus), Cows (Bos taurus) and Buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) which roam the area,” he said when contacted by Bernama today.

Meanwhile the Tiger’s carcass was handed over to the Wildlife Department for further action.

Source: Bernama

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