JERANTUT: The sturgeon fish farming project here has been put on hold as it was found to have flouted several regulations and procedures.
Jerantut MP Ahmad Nazlan Idris said the construction work near Kuala Tahan was carried out without any detailed environmental impact assessment (DEIA).
He said even a signboard was not put up at the site, let alone approval from the Fisheries Department.
“The locals have also protested against the project as they fear their income from ecotourism will be affected.
“We do not reject high impact projects but it must comply with all the regulations.
“It must also be located far from sensitive areas like the National Park,” Ahmad Nazlan said after attending a dialogue session between the villagers around Kuala Tahan and the relevant agencies here yesterday.
Also present were Tourism Ministry Pahang Office general manager Idros Yahya, state Fisheries Department director Adnan Hussain, state Environment Department assistant director Rohimah Ayub and Malaysian Nature Society president Prof Dr Maketab Mohamed.
Rohimah said a DEIA should be conducted on the project first due to its location.
She said the department had not received any report or application from any parties involved to conduct studies related to the matter.
Adnan said the sturgeon was among the species that were prohibited from being imported into the country unless there was a written permission form the Fisheries Department director-general.
He said at present, his office had not approved any application to bring in the fish.
Idros said Taman Negara was an ecotourism destination and there were plans to make it a World Heritage Site, thus its ecotourism value had to be protected.
Sturgeons are native to sub-tropical, temperate and sub-Arctic rivers, lakes and coastlines of Eurasia and North America.
Several species of sturgeons are harvested for their roe, which is made into caviar – a luxury delicacy.
The RM120mil sturgeon farming project is a joint venture project between Felda Investment Corporation and MMC Hassed Co Ltd of South Korea.