Malaysia: No reason found yet on why lobsters, fish in Oya River died

Source: Berita Harian

22nd February 2018;

The mass surfacing and and subsequent dying of aquatic life, particularly lobsters prawns and fish, in Oya River, Dalat that went viral on social media could have been caused by many factors, including poisoning.

Nanoplankton specialist Musa Musbah said 20 to 30 years ago, such phenomenon occurred not only in Dalat river but also in other rivers in Sarawak including in Niah and Sibuti areas in Miri, with varying degrees.

He was asked to comment on the so-called ‘drunken phenomenon’ of aquatic life in Oya River, which drew many comments on his Facebook page.

Musa reminded those who doubted the safety of such prawns or fish sold in the market to temporarily avoid eating them until the authorities come up with their findings and give assurance that whatever is caught from the river is safe to consume.

He did not deny that there might be some individuals who used poison to catch fish and prawns due to ignorance on its impact on health, while there might be others who did it for quick profit.

Meanwhile, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Dato Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar was reported in the local media as saying that the Department of Environment (DoE) would investigate and study the causes of the phenomenon.

Source: The Borneo Post

Those are not lobsters, but Giant River Prawns (Macrobrachium rosenbergii), while the fish in the photo appears to be a Helicopter Catfish (Wallagonia leerii).


Dead fish float in water fouled by untreated waste discharged from the Unitex Rubber Co factory in Rayong’s Klaeng district. The factory has been ordered closed for 15 days and told to improve the waste treatment system.
Photo: Jumphol Nikomruk

Thailand: Factory closed for discharging waste, causing fish deaths
By Jumphol Nikomruk, 27th December 2016;

Authorities have ordered the temporary closure of a latex rubber factory for 15 days for discharging untreated waste into a canal, killing many fish and polluting the water source.

Kornpatthavee Muangnoi, chief of Rayong industrial office, said the Unitex Rubber Co factory was also ordered to improve its waste treatment facility during its 15-day closure.

Action would also be taken against executives of the factory for releasing waste into a public canal in tambon Thang Kwian, causing a huge number of fish deaths.

The move follows complaints from nearby residents that the factory had dumped toxic waste into the canal, causing a foul smell and killing the aquatic life.

Witthaya Chayanont, Klaeng district chief, ordered local officials to inspect the factory on Monday.

They confirmed the factory, which purchased 50 tonnes of latex a day, had illegally discharged untreated waste into the community’s water source.

Source: Bangkok Post

The photo of the dead fishes isn’t very clear, but the casualties shown could be a species of catfish from the family Siluridae known as Ompok siluroides.