October 6, 2008

Fish Population in Perak Waterways Dwindling

IPOH: While acknowledging that the fish population in the Perak waterways is dwindling, state Fisheries Department director Sani Mohd Isa said there could be other reasons.

"The peacock bass problem cannot possibly be the main reason why fishermen were hauling in lesser fish these days.

"The peacock bass might be one reason for the reduction of local fish and prawn species in our rivers, but we have not received any report on it."

Sani said the department would investigate the problem.

Mohd Zambri Mohd Akhir, an environmental consultant with DHI Water and Environment Sdn Bhd, warned that there were also other alien species in our waterways which were bound to pose problems in the future.

He said the Fisheries Department should study potential threats from other alien species and ban the import of any species that could cause environmental havoc in our waterways. He pointed to the ban on the piranha and pacu species.

Nik Mohd Rahimi, who manages the Fly Fishing and Lure Casting Centre in Taman Pertanian Bukit Cahaya in Shah Alam, agreed, blaming aquarium fish enthusiasts for the dire situation.

He said the arapaima, the largest freshwater fish in South America, has been spotted in Putrajaya and Dengkil.

"When owners find it too costly to maintain the fish, they just release into the waterways."

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