Caged fish breeders suffer major losses due to flood

TEMERLOH: The flood that hit the district early this month had not only caused damage to public and private properties, but also caused major losses to caged fish breeders here as they were left with thousands of dead fish.

Most of the breeders attributed the death of their fish to several reasons, including the strong river current on Jan 1 and 2 when the water level of Sungai Pahang began to rise.

Khaidir Ahmad, 55, from Kampung Tebing Tinggi, Lebak here, when contacted today said he suffered losses of more than RM33,000 after over 5,000 patin and tilapia, as well as 300 kerai fish, in his cages died during the flood.

He said the strong river current had caused the fish to suffer wounds as they were cornered and squeezed to the cage.

"The fish were also believed to have died due to the high turbidity level of the river which caused the fish gills to be covered with mud and deprived them of oxygen," he said, adding that bacterial infection in the eyes and scales of the fish due to the deterioration in the water quality of Sungai Pahang was also believed to be the cause of death of the fish.

Meanwhile, Temerloh Fisheries Officer Shahidan Roslan said the Fisheries Department had taken samples from the live fish in order to determine the cause of death of thousands of caged fish of several breeders in the district.

He said the department had also informed the state Fisheries Department Bio-security Division, immediately after receiving a report on the incident.

Shahidan said initial inspection found that the death of patin and tilapia fish was probably due to the strong river water pressure during the recent flood.

"The investigation revealed that most of the dead fish were found in the front area of the cage which might have received the high impact of the strong current," he said. — Bernama