RM34,500 aid for affected mussel breeders in Port Dickson

Aminuddin handing out assistance to mussel breeders affiliated with the Telok Kemang Fishermen’s Association. — Bernama

The Malaysian Fisheries Department (LKIM) and Port Dickson parliamentary office have allocated RM34,500 to 85 mussel breeders who were affected by pollution in Port Dickson waters.

Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Aminuddin Harun said LKIM channelled assistance to 45 fishermen registered with the Telok Kemang Fishermen’s Association while the Port Dickson parliamentary office assisted 40 fishermen who were not members of the association.

Aminuddin said, “Most of the breeders were hoping to sell the mussels during the arrival of Syawal (in early April) for additional income since mussels would be in demand during that period.

“They were hoping to sell 150-200kg that would have fetched between RM1,200 and RM1,600.

“However, the contamination of mussels occurred,” he said after handing out the assistance to breeders in Telok Kemang, Pasir Panjang.

Aminuddin said Port Dickson waters, especially in Pasir Panjang, was an ideal location for breeding mussels and local fishermen depended on the mollusks for additional income, according to a Bernama report.

Fisheries Department deputy director-general (management) Wan Aznan Abdullah said tests carried out on samples collected for the seventh time showed the toxin level found in the mussels was still above the permissible level.

He also urged fishermen who wished to breed mussels to register with the department and obtain a RM30 annual licence.

On April 2, eight cases of food poisoning, believed to have been caused by eating mussels, were reported in the resort town.

Checks and tests carried out by the Fisheries Biosecurity Centre showed the mussels harvested there had been contaminated by biotoxins and the Prorocentrum, Alexandrium and Pseudo-nitzschia algae species.

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