Indonesia: Phytoplankton population explosion caused death of fish in Ancol: Indonesian Institute of Sciences

2nd December 2015;

The mass death of fish, found washed ashore North Jakartas Ancol Dream Land beach, was due to a population boom of the Coscinodiscus species of phytoplankton, noted the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI).

In a press statement here on Wednesday, the Oceanic Research Center of LIPI said the phytoplankton population had significantly reduced the oxygen content in the water.

According to LIPI, based on tests conducted on the water samples taken from three locations on Ancol beach on Tuesday, the oxygen content in the water was found to be very low at only 0.765 milliliters per liter (ml/L), while the normal oxygen level is about four to five ml/L.

The low content of dissolved oxygen is the cause of the mass death of fish at Ancol beach. Based on the observation, the density of phytoplankton was recorded at one to two million cells per liter of water.

Coscinodiscus spp. is one of the species that is actually not dangerous, but since it has a large number of cells, it absorbs a significant amount of oxygen, thereby resulting in a drop in the levels of dissolved oxygen in the water.

Thousands of dead fish were found washed up along the Ancol beach early on Monday.

The fish species found dead included Milkfish (Chanos chanos), Mullet (F. Mugilidae), and Snapper (F. Lutjanidae).

Source: Antara

Indonesia: Phytoplankton population explosion caused death of fish in Ancol: Indonesian Institute of Sciences

Indonesia: Thousands of fish found dead in Ancol

1st December 2015;

Thousands of dead fish of various species washed up along Ancol beach in North Jakarta on Monday, allegedly due to toxin contamination from nearby rivers.

“Ancol management reported that it had found many dead fish on its beach early on Monday morning. When we arrived at the scene, there was around a ton of fish washed up on it,” said law enforcement head of Jakarta Water Police division Comr. Edi Guritno.

He added that there were various types of fish, such as Snapper (F. Lutjanidae), Mullet (F. Mugilidae), Grouper (SubF. Epinephelinae) and Milkfish (Chanos chanos).

According to Edi, after the report, the water police immediately took measures to remove the dead fish from the coastline, as well as investigating the cause of their deaths.

He added that the police, in cooperation with Ancol management, had deployed a pickup truck and plastic bags to take the fish from the shore to the Ancol garbage dump, where they would be burned.

Edi said the police had sent samples of the fish and sea water to the Jakarta Maritime, Agriculture and Food Security Agency (KPKP) for scientific examination to confirm the cause of death.

Nonetheless, Edi said that the Ancol management and residents suspected that the fish had died of poisoning from pollutants carried by rivers that flowed into the sea in the Ancol area.

Separately, head of the KPKP’s fisheries division, Lilik Litasari, offered a similar interpretation.

Lilik told reporters that she had met with a number of Ancol management staff and residents and also examined the condition of the water.

Based on her preliminary investigation, she concluded that the waters had been contaminated with hydrogen sulfide (H2S), a colorless poison carried in the mud from the rivers. According to her, the H2S deprived the sea water of oxygen, causing the death of the fish.

According to her, the poisonous mud had possibly flowed to the sea during rain last Friday and Saturday.

“This is a phenomenon that usually occurs early in the rainy season after a long drought. A large volume of water flows from the land to the sea, carrying along sediment that has been deposited in the rivers,” Lilik said.

However, Lilik emphasized that the current theory was only based on the preliminary analysis and that the agency would make a final conclusion after receiving results from the laboratory.

She revealed that Monday’s incident was not the first for Ancol’s management, as it had experienced a similar phenomenon previously, although not with an amount of dead fish as large as this.

Ancol management said that a similar incident occurred three years ago.

According to Pembangunan Jaya Ancol corporate communications manager Rika Lestari, the management had predicted Monday’s incident for over a week before the dead fish were discovered.

“A week ago, our field officers predicted this would occur as they saw foam on the sea water,” Rika said.

She added that in the name of safety the management was currently asking beach visitors not to swim on the beach.

Responding to the issue, an environmental activist from Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), Mukri Friatna, urged the Jakarta administration to quickly examine the quality of its sea water considering that Monday’s incident was not the first of its kind.

He said that by examining the sea water the administration could identify what substances were in the water and thus discover if the water was polluted because of natural toxins or a result of bad waste management.

“In the end, they [the officials] can decide the best measures to reduce contamination in Jakarta’s seas,” Mukri said.

Source: Jakarta Post

Indonesia: Thousands of fish found dead in Ancol

Baffling fish kill: Fisherman Zhahiran Sabu showing the dead fish found in Sungai Bayan Lepas. Photo: Chan Boon Kai

Malaysia: Probe into mystery of mass fish deaths
14th July 2015;

The Department of Environment has launched an investigation into the mass fish deaths in Sungai Bayan Lepas.

Various officers from the department were seen collecting water samples at the site yesterday for testing. The result of the test is expected to be out in two weeks.

Consumers Association of Penang president S.M. Mohamed Idris said various fish species were found dead in the river on Sunday.

“The fish are Mullet (belanak) (F. Mugilidae), gelama (Croaker) (F. Sciaenidae) and duri (Sea Catfish) (F. Ariidae).”

“We were told by the affected fishermen that the river water is frequently black and oily.”

“The pollution spreads from the river to the sea, endangering the fish and prawns which form the fishermen’s catch,” he said in a press statement.

Malaysian Nature Society Penang branch adviser D. Kanda Kumar said the cause of the fish deaths could not be the hot weather.

“If it is the hot weather, then every river in the state will be effected as well.

"It has to be due to some human activity taking place upstream that is polluting the river,” he said when contacted.

He advised residents nearby to contact the authorities if they see any illegal discharge of waste into the river.

Penang Gerakan Youth secretary Ooi Zhi Yi urged the government to take stern action against the culprits.

“This is the fourth fish death case within a short period after Sungai Kerian in Nibong Tebal, Sungai Tasek Cempedak in Seberang Prai Selatan and Sungai Dondang in Paya Terubong,” Ooi said in a statement.

State Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said they would do a survey of the area to identify the possible cause while waiting for the lab results.

Those with any information can contact the Penang Island City council at 04-2637637 or the Seberang Prai Municipal Council at 04-5372658.

Source: The Star

Sad sight: Hundreds of dead fish littering the river at Sungai Bayan Lepas in Penang.

Malaysia: Pollution suspected in mass fish deaths
13th July 2015;

A strong stench permeated the air as hundreds of dead fish littered the mouth of Sungai Bayan Lepas.

To make matters worse, flies had a feast after the water level subsided in Permatang Damar Laut.

The sudden mass fish death has raised environmental concerns among residents and fishermen living nearby.

Fisherman Saidin Ismail, 69, who has been fishing in the area for decades, said the sight of dead fish shocked him.

“It’s happened before but never this severe. Last year, there were dead fishes floating in the river but it was never this much. This could be due to pollution,” he said.

State Local Government Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said water samples had been sent to the laboratory for tests.

He said Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) and Department of Environment (DOE) officers visited the site to conduct checks.

“They took away water samples. It will take around two weeks for the results to be out.

"According to DOE, the dead fish are Mullets (F. Mugilidae) which are usually near the river mouth.”

“The incident could be due to pollution at the river mouth,” he said in a statement.

Source: The Star

Malaysia: Fish found belly up in Sungai Bayan Lepas

By Looi Sue-Chern, 12th July 2015;

The state Drainage and Irrigation Department received complaints of dead fish in Sungai Bayan Lepas in George Town this morning.

Local government exco Chow Kon Yeow, in a statement this afternoon, said immediate action was taken to investigate the site where the dead fish were seen and take a river water sample.

“The sample will be sent for tests and it will be be about two weeks before we get the results.”

“The state Environment Department has said that it was possible that the fish had died at the river mouth due to water pollution and were washed upriver at high tide,” he said.

Chow added that the dead fish were of the Bluespot Mullet (Moolgarda seheli) species, which lived at the river mouth.

Dead fish were previously reported in Sungai Dongdang in Paya Terubong last month and in Sungai Kerian in Nibong Tebal on the mainland in March.

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Malaysia: Fish found belly up in Sungai Bayan Lepas

NEA cleaners cleaning up the dead fish washed up on Lim Chu Kang jetty. Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan yesterday said the bloom will pose a “real challenge for long-term fish farming in that area”. Photo by Lau Fook Kong

Plankton bloom causing fish deaths ‘likely to recur’
AVA and farmers must discuss best way to tackle challenge: Vivian
By Carolyn Khew, 9th March 2015;

The plankton bloom behind the recent mass deaths of fish along the Johor Strait is likely to keep happening.

And this will pose a “real challenge for long-term fish farming in that area”, said Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan yesterday.

“The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority and the fish farmers are going to have to sit down to discuss what’s the best way forward.”

Two Saturdays ago, coastal farms in Changi lost thousands of fish to plankton bloom. Then last Friday, farms in Lim Chu Kang were hit. More than 500 tonnes of fish have been lost.

Asked about the issue yesterday, on the sidelines of the Green Corridor Run, Dr Balakrishnan said that plankton blooms tend to occur whenever there is a dry spell or drought.

This is especially true for the waters facing the Strait of Johor.

“This is likely to be a recurrent problem with global warming, with greater incidence of both droughts as well as heavy, intense storms,” he added.

Plankton blooms can be deadly as the plankton suck oxygen from the water, suffocating other marine life.

The National Environment Agency said that the first half of this month is expected to have less rainfall than usual. This follows significantly low levels of rain in the previous two months.

The dry weather is partly due to the early onset of the north-east monsoon’s dry phase, which is characterised by drier weather and occasional wind.

Last Saturday, dead fish, including Catfish (F. Ariidae and F. Plotosidae) and Mullet (F. Mugilidae), were found washed up on the shores at Lim Chu Kang jetty, resulting in a clean-up operation by the National Environment Agency which continued until yesterday.

It is believed that more than 200 bags of dead fish were collected at the jetty.

Across the Causeway, Malaysian reports estimated that six tonnes of wild and cultured fish were found dead in areas such as Johor Port and Puteri Harbour.

The AVA said last week that it will provide assistance to fish farmers affected by the fish deaths, so that they can recover and restart their operations. There are 117 coastal farms around Singapore.

It is also looking to enhance their ability to better withstand such incidents – for instance, by putting in place contingency plans.

Fish farmer Simon Ho, who is in his 60s, hopes for a longer-term solution to prevent the mass fish deaths from happening again.

The plankton bloom wiped out all 80,000 of his Silver Pomfrets (Pampus sp.) this year.

When the bloom hit last year, he managed to save half of his stock.

“I’m not going to start rearing fish again until there’s a solution to the plankton problem,” said Mr Ho, who owns New Ocean Fish Farm.

“We’ve tried so hard already.”

Source: The Straits Times

Thousands of fish were found washed up on shore at Lim Chu Kang jetty on Saturday in the latest in a series of mass deaths. Photos by Lau Fook Kong

New mass fish death washes up thousands at Lim Chu Kang jetty
By Carolyn Khew, 7th March 2015;

Thousands of fish were found washed up on shore at Lim Chu Kang jetty on Saturday in the latest in a series of mass deaths.

Breeds big and small, including Catfish(F. Ariidae) and Mullets (F. Mugilidae), were discovered on the beach near where several fish farms are situated in the Strait of Johor.

Both sea and farm fish were affected.

Farmer Ong Kim Pit, 65, told The Sunday Times that he first saw fish jumping out of the water on Friday night, adding that his baby mullets were worst hit.

“It happened within minutes,” he said. “My fish were jumping and jumping in the water. I don’t know why.”

Cleaners were seen removing bags of dead fish on Saturday.

It is not yet known what caused the mass deaths, but they came a week after a deadly wave of plankton bloom wiped out almost all of some Changi farmers’ stocks.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said the bloom had killed an estimated 500 to 600 tonnes of fish as of last Wednesday, and affected 55 out of 63 farms in the East Johor Strait.

The AVA’s preliminary findings showed elevated levels of Karlodinium veneficum in seawater samples, which has been associated with fish deaths worldwide.

Meanwhile, photos of dead fish at Kranji Reservoir Park and Sungeh Buloh Wetland Reserve also surfaced online on Saturday.

Source: The Straits Times