YONG PENG: Some 337,000 fish fry of various species were released into Johor waters since early this year using allocations of over RM78,000 from the state and federal governments.
Johor Fisheries Department Resources Protection division head Yusni Mohd Yusoh said this was the first year the state government had channelled RM50,000 for the sole purpose of releasing fish fry into open waters across the state.
“We are very grateful for the state government’s support and concern over the matter, so much so that a special allocation was received under the Johor River Resources Preservation programme.
“The Federal Government also allocated RM28,200 for this initiative,” he said after releasing fish fry into the Bekok dam here.
Some 14,000 fish fry worth RM5,000 were released into the dam in conjunction with a nationwide programme to set a new record in the Malaysia Book of Records for the most number of fish fry released into the water.
Yusni said the lampan, jelawat and ketutu fish species were released to help create a more balanced ecosystem at the dam.
“In six months time, the fishermen whose livelihood depend on catch at the Bekok dam, will benefit from this initiative.
“However, we urge them to adopt the ‘catch and throw’ practice if fish caught within these months are not fully mature,” he added.
Meanwhile, Ayer Hitam MCA division chief Ling Tian Soon, who represented Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong at the launch, said the initiative would help fishermen.
“Some of the fishermen have highlighted difficulties in making a profitable catch since two years ago.
“Pollution caused by discharge of effluents by nearby factories and the disorganised release of fish fry by non-governmental organisations could be the root of the problem.
“As such, the initiative to release more suitable species for the dam's ecosystem is timely,” he said, adding that signage warning the public against illegal fishing at certain locations had also been put up.