PUSAT KAJIAN SAMUDERA & PANTAI -- Universiti Sains Malaysia
Serious water pollution in Penang
GEORGE TOWN: Penang is facing serious water pollution issues, both on the island and the mainland.
The sea off Teluk Bahang is said to be contaminated by heavy metals while in Nibong Tebal, the water at the Sungai Tengah river mouth is black, a problem fishermen there claim has been plaguing them for about 10 years.
The situation in the north of the island looks far more serious. Weeks ago only a few fish were found dead. Now, fishes are dying by the thousands.
This has deprived fish breeders of their source of income as thousands of ikan kerapu (grouper) are dying in fish cages.
“However, we only managed to sell about 40 to 50kgs over the last two months as most of them ended up dead. “We are baffled. The Fisheries Department took samples of the dead fish several times but as of today, there has been no indication of what caused the deaths,” Lim said, adding that he suffered losses of about RM130,000 since April.
Another breeder, Ooi Hye Hin, 57, said he took up a RM300,000 loan from Agro Bank to buy fish fry and now cannot pay the RM3,000 monthly payments because of this.
“Both Lim and I have made five police reports as we have no other income and are not be able to service our bank loans,” Ooi said.
He said the dead fish at the farms would have to be thrown away while those that were still alive would remain in the cages.
“We have stopped sending our fish supply to customers since April,” he added.