Fish yield to possible poisoning


THOUSANDS of fish have turned up dead or dazed in a river in Balik Pulau, Penang, possibly due to discharge from a nearby prawn farm.

Fishermen Mazsari Ismail, who spotted foreign workers collecting the fish from the Kuala Jalan Bharu river at 7am on Saturday, claimed that the farm had discharged water which was not properly treated into the river.

“The discharged water contains a chemical that is poisonous to the fish. We urge the authorities to take action immediately,” he said, claiming that the chemical was usually used to kill fish in ponds but was safe for the prawns.

The dead fish were mostly catfish and mullet.

“I was surprised to see the foreign workers collecting the fish. I am not sure if they are safe to eat,” Mazsari said.

Another fishermen, who wanted to be known only as Thor, said this was not the first time such a thing had happened.

He said that although the dead fish hadlittle commercial value, the environmental impact was unacceptable.

When contacted, state Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said he had informed the Department of Environment to investigate the matter.