Malaysia: Fish die by the thousands in man-made lake

The Star 11 Aug 16;

ALOR SETAR: 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 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, tilapia, kap, udang kertas, jelawat 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.

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