Malaysia: Raising a stink over fish farm losses

lo tern chern The Star 16 Oct 17;

NIBONG TEBAL: The state government should pay RM100mil compensation to open sea fish farmers affected by leachate from the Sungai Burung landfill.

South Seberang Prai district village development officer and South Seberang Prai Eco-Tourism Development Association secretary Kuan Hin Yeap (pic) claimed that fish farmers at sea stopped releasing new fish fry after the leachate risk was made public.

Last Wednesday, state Agriculture, Agro-based Industry, Rural Development and Health Committee chairman Dr Afif Bahardin visited the leachate ponds and blamed the Federal Government’s Department of Environment for putting the fish cages at risk.

It was reported that Dr Afif said the pollution was “plain to the naked eye” and called on DOE to take immediate steps because it would put the state’s fisheries sector at risk.

Penang, he said, has the second highest number of open sea fish farms after Sabah.

There are 186 open sea fish farms less than 3km from the Pulau Burung landfill shoreline, visible to the left of the island-bound side of the Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah Bridge.

“After Dr Afif announced the risk of leachate, farmers refrained from releasing new fry.

“The Nibong Tebal Fish Farm Association predicted that if this continues, all 186 farms here will close down within three years.

“They have calculated that the farmers are hoping to obtain a total of RM86.3mil compensation for the damage sustained in the past five years, or RM464,000 per farmer.

“That is not only compensation for wages and diesel loss, but also the cost of fry and feed,” said Kuan.

Kuan expressed disappointment and accused the state of showing a lack of concern over the pollution.

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