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Caged-Fish Breeders Out of Pocket

MALAYSIA - A total of 117 caged-fish breeders of Sri Tujuh lagoon lost almost RM500,000 when their fishes were found dead earlier this week.

One of the fish breeders, Yaakob Kasim, 72, said he only noticed the dead fish on Monday morning.

"That day I saw the fish in my 46 cages rise to the surface as if out of oxygen," he told Bernama.com.

Mr Kasim said his losses amounted to almost RM12,000 following the death of 700kg of siakap and kerapu (grouper) fish.

"I couldn't sell them. I managed to sell some really cheap at about RM5 a kilo compared with RM17 per kilo of fresh fish," he said.

He claimed that the cause of death was flood waters released from canals by the Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID). "Flood waters from the canals are dirty and toxic which caused our fish to run out of oxygen and die," he told Bernama.com.

Another breeder, Abdul Ghani Shafie, 38, said he tried to save some of his fish by pumping water into the cages to add oxygen. "I had to try although there is no guarantee that the fish will continue to live," he said, adding that he incurred losses of about RM30,000.

Mr Shafie said the department should have informed the breeders prior to opening the canals.

Meanwhile, Sri Tujuh Lagoon Fish Breeders Association chairman Yusof Mamat said the DID or the Fisheries Department should do something to minimise their losses.

the Fish Site Editor

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