Low metal contamination in fishes due to bauxite mining

PUTRAJAYA: A study conducted by the Malaysian Fisheries Department has revealed low metal contamination in fishes due to bauxite mining activities in Pahang.

The department, in a statement here, today said the study conducted by its investigation team in February last year found that the concentration was at the maximum permissible level as stipulated in the Food Act 1985.

At the end of 2015, the case of bauxite ore contamination in Sungai Balok and Sungai Penggorak, Kuantan, Pahang was widely reported in the media that sea water in the area had turned red due to bauxite ore being brought by rainwater during the monsoon season.

According to the department, the investigation team took 64 specimens from 25 fish species from the rivers, namely Sg Balok; Sg Penggorak; Sg Riau; Sg Mabuk; Sg Padan; Empangan Kobalt, Kuala Penur and Tanjong Lumpur.

The metals tested included aluminium, iron, magnesium, zinc, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, copper, arsenic and selenium, it said.

The department said besides checking fish samples, water and sendiment samples were also taken to be examined for metal contents.

Ferrous metals in the sendiments around Sungai Balok and rivers near Bukit Goh showed metal diversity.

"As such, monitoring of metal contamination and changes in the fish community diversity at rivers near Bukit Goh is highly recommended," it said. — Bernama