PUSAT KAJIAN SAMUDERA & PANTAI -- Universiti Sains Malaysia

Fishermen want Penang govt to rehabilitate sea water

GEORGE TOWN: The Fishermen’s Association of Penang (Pen Mutiara) urged the state government to rehabilitate the state’s sea water, which is believed to be polluted by the sea reclamation project before embarking on any new projects including the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project.

Pen Mutiara chairman Nazri Ahmad said the sea pollution caused by disposal of reclamation waste from projects being carried out in the state has led to the depletion of marine sources such as fish, shrimp and crabs over the last two years.

“We speak from experience because our own fishermen see the condition of the sea every day and know the water is polluted. Even now, when the fishermen go out to fish, we get more junk than fish,” he told a press conference, here today.

He said restoration of seawater quality should be undertaken immediately to ensure the sustainability of the marine ecosystems for the benefit of all, especially fishermen whose livelihood would be severely affected.

Projects that were underway at the Tanjung Tokong beach and Gurney Drive had damaged the water quality from Penang Strait to Teluk Bahang including the tourist beach in Batu Feringghi, he said.

In the meantime, Nazri also called on the Penang State Government to resolve some issues that have not been resolved to date regarding the Butterworth Outer Ring Road (BORR) reclamation project.

“To date, the fishermen involved have not receive the compensation balance of more than RM3,000 as promised and the permanent resettlement for fishermen in Butterworth consisting of quarters and fishermen’s jetty are yet to be fulfilled,” he said.

In the meantime, the Penang Fisheries Department today denied allegations that the death of thousands of fish raised in cages in Teluk Bahang waters was caused by poisoning and pollution as stated in recent viral social media.

The department, in a statement, said the true cause of the deaths was still being investigated by the University Science Malaysia’s Centre for Marine and Coastal studies (Cemacs) and the Department of Environment. - Bernama

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