Malaysia: Pollution killing tonnes of caged fish in Kinabatangan


By , 2016;

Tonnes of caged fish were destroyed in Sabah’s interior Kinaba­tangan district, the se­cond time in less than a year.

It is believed that river pollution caused the fish to die.

The fish, reared by villagers at Kampung Mumiang in the country’s Ramsar site (a wetland site of international importance under the Ramsar Convention) were worth thousands and fed hundreds of people.

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

The village’s Development and Security Committee head Mada Hussin said after the first incident in November last year, the authorities collected water samples and gave new fish stocks based on a subsidy mechanism to the affected villagers.

“Now, most fish from this new stock have been destroyed.

"We only managed to salvage a few of them the moment we noticed something amiss.

"We want the Government to review its policies on collecting water and other relevant samples,” he said.

He said the villagers had no choice but to continue rearing caged fish with the hope that the incident would not repeat in future.

Mada added that the investiga­ting agencies should review their Standard Operating Procedures as the delay in collecting samples did not translate into data that would be useful for mitigation or enforcement measures.

He said in the latest incident in July, some 45 families lost four tonnes of caged fish such as Grou­pers(SubF. Epinephelinae) and Snappers (F. Lutjanidae) worth thousands of ringgit.

Mada said the Malangking river, a tributary of the Kinabatangan, might be polluted with run-off from an oil palm estate, especially during a downpour.

“There is nothing we can do, for example in terms of taking legal action against those who pollute the Malangking river or other waterways, impacting our livelihoods,” Mada said.

He suggested the setting up of sampling stations to enable community wardens to collect samples more frequently, quickly and get data collected by the community to be recognised.

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 have identified the setting up of four water quality monitoring units in the near future under this project,” he added.

Source: The Star

Malaysia: Pollution killing tonnes of caged fish in Kinabatangan

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: RM100,000 worth of fish found dead

28th November 2015;

Fish farmers in Kina­batangan ,the site of Malaysi’’s biggest Ramsar site, were stunned to find that all their fish, reared in cages, were dead.

“We noticed something amiss earlier. When dawn came the next day (last Friday), our worst fears were confirmed when we found all of them belly up,” said Kampung Mumiang Village Development and Security Committee head Mada Hussin.

The fish were reared in 50 cages.

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

The Convention on Wetlands of Inter­national Importance, better known as the Ramsar Convention, is an inter-governmental treaty that looks into conservation wetlands and their resources. There are six Ramsar sites in Malaysia.

Mada said the farmers lost Grouper (SubF. Epinephelinae), Snapper (F. Lutjanidae) and other types of fish, adding that the cost could come up to RM100,000.

This would impact about 50 families, he said.

“We want answers from the authorities. We want to know the cause. We want compensation from whoever is responsible for our losses,” Mada said.

The villagers, he said, would usually keep some fish for their own consumption and sell the rest.

“We have lost everything now,” he added.

He said the farmers were in a dilemma as they could not depend on catching fish at the nearby river due to dwindling numbers.

“The villagers are now waiting for test results on samples taken by the Fisheries Department.”

Mada said pollutants from a plantation could have flowed into the Malangking River, a tributary of the Kinabatangan.

“The last time we lost fish on this scale was about four years ago,” he said.

Cynthia Ong, the director of Forever Sabah which works towards an equitable and green economy, said such tragic events were typically associated with oxygen depletion in dead zones caused by fertiliser, palm oil mill effluents or disturbed peat soil.

“Studies in Malaysia and around the world showed that fisheries sustained by healthy mangroves are worth hundreds of dollars per hectare to the Sabah economy,” Ong said.

Source: The Star

Malaysia: RM100,000 worth of fish found dead

Malaysia: RM100,000 worth of fish found dead

28th November 2015;

Fish farmers in Kinabatangan, the site of Malaysia’s biggest Ramsar site, were stunned to find that all their fish, reared in cages, were dead.

“We noticed something amiss earlier. When dawn came the next day (last Friday), our worst fears were confirmed when we found all of them belly up,” said Kampung Mumiang Village Development and Security Committee head Mada Hussin.

The fish were reared in 50 cages.

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

The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, better known as the Ramsar Convention, is an inter-governmental treaty that looks into conservation wetlands and their resources. There are six Ramsar sites in Malaysia.

Mada said the farmers lost Grouper (SubF. Epinephelinae), Snapper (F. Lutjanidae) and other types of fish, adding that the cost could come up to RM100,000.

This would impact about 50 families, he said.

“We want answers from the authorities. We want to know the cause. We want compensation from whoever is responsible for our losses,” Mada said.

The villagers, he said, would usually keep some fish for their own consumption and sell the rest.

“We have lost everything now,” he added.

He said the farmers were in a dilemma as they could not depend on catching fish at the nearby river due to dwindling numbers.

“The villagers are now waiting for test results on samples taken by the Fisheries Department.”

Mada said pollutants from a plantation could have flowed into the Malangking River, a tributary of the Kinabatangan.

“The last time we lost fish on this scale was about four years ago,” he said.

Cynthia Ong, the director of Forever Sabah which works towards an equitable and green economy, said such tragic events were typically associated with oxygen depletion in dead zones caused by fertiliser, palm oil mill effluents or disturbed peat soil.

“Studies in Malaysia and around the world showed that fisheries sustained by healthy mangroves are worth hundreds of dollars per hectare to the Sabah economy,” Ong said.

Source: The Star

Malaysia: RM100,000 worth of fish found dead