Malaysia, Johor: Land reclamation may be behind mass fish deaths

VENESA DEVI The Star 7 Sep 19;

What went wrong?: Some of the dead fish found along Pantai Lido.

JOHOR BARU: Land reclamation along Pantai Lido could potentially be the main cause of mass fish deaths in the area.

State Local Government, Urban Wellbeing and Environment Committee chairman Tan Chen Choon said the Department of Environment (DoE), along with the Fisheries Department, were still investigating the matter and not ruling out land reclamation as the contributing factor.

“The DoE visited the location on Thursday upon receiving complaints about the occurrence and found that the dissolved oxygen level of the water was very low at 1.2mg/l,” he said.

“The hot weather and disturbance of the water flow here due to land reclamation are believed to be contributing factors, but we are still investigating the matter.”

In a statement, Tan said he had instructed the DoE to look into the Environment Impact Assessment for the reclamation project to avoid a recurrence of such incidents.

Dozens of dead fish were spotted along Pantai Lido during a visit there yesterday, along with a strong stench.

This is the second occurrence of mass fish deaths along Pantai Lido recently, with the first incident on Aug 28.

State Fisheries Department director Zamani Omar said land reclamation had caused blockages in the waterway, resulting in limited water exchanges.

“The fish in the area were possibly trapped in water with a low dissolved oxygen level, causing them to suffocate.

“The hot weather, followed by sudden downpours, could also have killed the fish as they had to experience extreme and sudden changes of temperature,” he said, adding that there were no signs of industrial pollution in the water.

Malaysia Nature Society vice-president Vincent Chow said the recurring fish deaths here were a clear sign of pollution.

“Just because no industrial waste is found does not mean that there is no pollution, as the mud from land reclamation could also cause pollution.

“The relevant agencies should not only check the water samples, but also take samples from the dead fish to know what caused them to suffocate,” he said.

Johor looking into development projects and mass fish deaths
VENESA DEVI The Star 7 Sep 19;

Dead fish seen along Pantai Lido in Johor Baru following reports of mass fish death caused by low oxygen levels.

TANGKAK: The Johor government is investigating whether development projects, including land reclamation work around Pantai Lido, have led to the mass death of fish in the area.

Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal said that the relevant agencies are currently preparing an in-depth report on the matter.

“The Environment Department (DOE) and Fisheries Department are still looking for the main reason why the oxygen level in the water went down, which led to the death of fish.

“This is the second time we have seen such an occurrence and I have urged the relevant agencies to take proactive measures, ” he said, adding that he is still awaiting reports from DOE and the Fisheries Department.

He was speaking to reporters after attending a Johor Corporation corporate social responsibility programme dubbed Jalinan Ukhwah JCorp here at Kundung Ulu in Tangkak on Saturday (Sept 7).

Dr Sahruddin added that at the moment, the state government has not issued any orders to stop development projects in the affected area.

“If the incidents have anything to do with development projects, we will consult the relevant agencies to improve procedures, ” he said.

Dead fish incident: Johor Fisheries Dept says stagnant water must be treated first before being released
MOHD FARHAAN SHAH The Star 8 Sep 19;

JOHOR BARU: The Johor Fisheries Department has suggested that a process to replace and treat stagnant water be conducted along Pantai Lido following two separate incidents of mass fish deaths in the area.

Its director Zamani Omar said a water analysis report, which was sent on Aug 28 following the first incident, found high amounts of ammonia and phosphate as a result of the decaying fish.

"Things will get worse if domestic wastewater flows into the reservoir and threatens other aquatic life.

"As an immediate measure, the department has suggested that the ammonia problem be rectified by exchanging pool water where stagnant water must be treated before being released into public waters," he said in a statement here on Sunday (Sept 8).

Zamani added that as for a long-term solution, more efficient irrigation routes should be constructed at Pantai Lido to ensure that water flows in and out according to the tide.

He pointed out that this was to ensure that domestic waste does not accumulate locally and affecting the water quality of aquatic life.

Zamani said currently, there was only one pathway that had been built for such purpose compared to the overall large area of Pantai Lido.

It was reported that the state government may look into ways to improve development procedures at Pantai Lido following mass fish deaths in the area, says Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal.

He said the relevant agencies were still investigating development projects, including reclamation works.

Dr Sahruddin added that if the incident had something to do with the development projects, the state government would consult the relevant agencies, including the Department of Environment and Town and Country Planning Department, to look into it.

The state government was not ruling out land reclamation along Pantai Lido as being the main cause of mass fish death there.

Dozens of dead fish were spotted along Pantai Lido for the second time on Friday just days after a similar occurrence on Aug 28.