Thursday, February 27, 2014

Aquaculture Project Threatens Mangroves and Fishers Livelihood

 The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) urges the Perak state government to investigate and take immediate action to resolve the problem faced by about 500 small fishers in Kampung Sungai Tuntung, Panchor and Pengkalan Bharu near Pantai Remis whose livelihood have been threatened by aquaculture projects in this area.
New project proposed in Tanjung Burung Forest Reserve at Kampung Sungai Tuntung, Pantai Remis, Perak.
Besides threatening fishery resource and income of fishers, the shrimp and crab culture projects have also destroyed hundreds of hectares of mangroves in this area and have polluted the river and sea by discharging effluents from the ponds.
From a survey done by CAP, we understand from fishers that part of the mangroves that were destroyed to make way for aquaculture projects were originally permanent reserved forest i.e. Tanjung Burung Forest Reserve that should be protected and conserved.  However what is happening now is that our natural heritage is being destroyed for aquaculture projects.
Hence, CAP urges the Perak Forestry Department and Manjung District Land Office (Pejabat Tanah dan Galian Daerah Manjung) to investigate the complaint and make public their findings, especially to local fisher community regarding the status of the mangroves that have been affected by the aquaculture projects here.  
Pipe to discharge effluents from shrimp pond in Sungai Tuntung, Pantai Remis, Perak
Nordin Mohd Hasim, 42, a fisherman here stated that since the aquaculture project started, their catch of fish and crabs have dwindled.  Previously, the fishers here could get an income of more than RM200 per day but now at times they return home empty-handed or with a meager income of RM30 per day.   
Alias Said, 61, said that previously he could get a catch of about 20kg of ikan sembilang (eel-tailed catfish) per day but now if fortunate he gets only 5kg per day. He opines that if the destruction of mangroves continues fish and crabs which are the main catch here will become extinct and fishers will lose their source of income.  
CAP is disappointed that mangroves are continued to be destroyed and till now no effective action is being taken to protect them.  CAP also urges the Fisheries Department, Department of Environment (DOE) and Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) to investigate this issue and take stern and appropriate action to resolve the problems faced by fishers here.   
Consumers' Association of Penang
10, Jalan Masjid Negeri
11600 PENANG

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