Fish farmers unclear where dead fish at Sungei Buloh are from

Kok Xing Hui Today Online 19 Apr 14;

SINGAPORE — Local fish farmers in the Western Johor Straits were puzzled as to where the scores of dead fish that had washed up at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on Thursday came from, saying they had not heard about fish deaths at other farms.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) has said it did not detect a plankton bloom, which was cited as a possible reason for wiping out 160 tonnes of fish from local fish farms on both the Western and Eastern Johor Straits in February.

Yesterday, a fish farm owner who identified himself only as Mr Chia, said the deaths could be due to issues with the water. He explained that due to the nature of water flow, problems at one spot might not necessarily affect the entire area.

Responding to queries, the AVA said water near Singapore’s coastal fish farms is regularly sampled as part of routine surveillance by the authority. “Currently, no abnormalities have been detected at our coastal fish farms. AVA will continue to monitor closely.”

When TODAY visited the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve yesterday, a small number of dead fish were still spotted, although the National Parks Board had carried out a clean-up on Thursday. The waters were littered with styrofoam, plastic bottles and other debris — something birdwatcher Robin Sim said was not always the case. “Usually, there are just a few (pieces of rubbish),” he said. “But it’s hard to control, (as the water) does lead to the open sea.” KOK XING HUI