‘No need to save up on fish stock’

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 17 May 2014

PUTRAJAYA: Freshwater fish harvest may be affected by an increase in salinity brought about by the El Nino phenomenon but the Government has given an assurance that there will be enough supply for local consumption during the expected drought.

Consumers need not worry as pre-emptive measures to beef up fisheries stock have been taken to prevent drastic price increases that may be caused by insufficient supply, said Fisheries Department deputy director-general (development) Datuk Ismail Abu Hassan.

He said fisheries products would also be sourced from countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and India if the need arose.

“During drought, the salinity of the water may increase up to 40ppt (parts per thousand) from the usual 25ppt to 28ppt.

“Along with an increase in temperature, some species, particularly freshwater types such as tiger prawns and ikan siakap, have a higher risk of contracting disease, which may lead to a higher death rate,” Ismail said yesterday.

Malaysia produces 1.7 million tonnes of fish products annually, estimated at RM12bil, with local consumption of shrimps alone estimated at 100 tonnes per day.

Ismail urged aquaculture farmers and fishermen to take early measures to minimise losses that may be caused by the effects of El Nino and to carry out “break cycle” activities such as repair works during the dry season.

The World Meteorological Organisation has forecast that El Nino may occur from June to September. The Malaysian Mete­orological Department has said its effects may only be truly felt several months after that.

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Environment , Ismail Abu Hassan


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