MUAR: On Monday night, fisherman Makmor Md Top went to the river to lay fish traps, expecting to get a good harvest of prawns and fish.
He was shocked when, at 7am yesterday, he saw thousands of udang galah (giant river prawns) and fish floating in Sungai Muar, near Kampung Durian Chondong, either dead or dying.
He quickly rushed to see village head Anuar Hamzah and together they returned to the river to collect samples from the river.
They then called the relevant authorities to inform them of the dead prawns and fish, which they suspected had been “victims” of unscrupulous people who had poured some chemical into the river.
They also lodged a police report following the advice of the authorities.
Speaking to reporters later, Makmor said he was shocked to see so many dead prawns and fish, such as ikan putih, lampam, baung and patin, floating in the river.
“I scooped about 10kg of the prawns and several fish before the high tidal current pushed them upriver.
“I suspect the river had been poisoned by some irresponsible parties who wanted to catch the giant prawns for sale during the Chinese New Year,” he said.
Anuar said the poisoning of fish and prawns in the river seemed to be a “regular” activity of certain irresponsible parties, especially during the dry season.
“We had similar incidents in September last year when the water level of Sungai Muar dropped very low.
“We urge the relevant authorities to beef up their river monitoring units, especially along the tributaries upriver,” he added.