Penang govt to help fish breeders affected by ‘red water’

Penang Agrotechnology, Food Security and Cooperative Development Committee chairman Fahmi Zainol says the state government will provide aid to breeders who suffered losses after their cage-bred fish died due to the ‘red water’ phenomenon in waters off Teluk Bahang last week. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, September 3, 2023.

THE Penang government will provide aid to breeders who suffered losses after their cage-bred fish died due to the “red water” phenomenon in waters off Teluk Bahang last week. 

State Agrotechnology, Food Security and Cooperative Development Committee chairman Fahmi Zainol said aid would be provided to ease the financial burden of farmers who incurred losses of between RM200,000 and RM300,000. 

“The incident has caused six caged fish breeders to suffer losses after 12 tonnes of fish they had been farming died. I brought this matter to the state executive council meeting last week and have requested appropriate assistance from the state government to reduce their burdens. 

“Perhaps we (the state government) would help the farmers by providing fish fry or cash aid,” he told reporters after attending the Agro Madani Sales programme in Bayan Baru today. 

Local fishermen have expressed concern over the death of fish and marine life as a result of the phenomenon, which occurred in an area about 1km from Muka Head to the coast of Teluk Bahang.  

The Penang Fisheries Department said preliminary analysis carried out by the Batu Maung Fisheries Research Institute in the area revealed the presence of non-toxic algae of the Noctiluca Scintillans species that are not harmful to humans. 

Fahmi, who is also the Pantai Jerejak assemblyman, said the red water phenomenon had not spread to other parts of the state’s waters. 

“So far, the red tide phenomenon has only occurred in the Teluk Bahang waters. It’s a natural phenomenon and the algae blooms in the area have subsided after about five days,” he said. 

Fahmi also refuted claims by certain quarters that the presence of the Noctiluca Scintillans algae in the waters of Teluk Bahang was caused by sea reclamation activities. – Bernama, September 3, 2023.  

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