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Forget The Seas, Fish In Your Backyard

MALAYSIA - Aquaponics may sound like a fishy pursuit but it could be the solution to the problems of fishermen and farmers, Chok Suat Ling discovers

Aquaponics involves rearing fish (at right) alongside plants in a re-circulating environment. Fishermen and farmers must be trained to determine the parameters, water quality, nutrient concentration and other essentials.

Its fishermen may haul in the largest volume of fish in Selangor, but they are not basking in satisfaction. They cannot afford to. Over the past decade or so, one fact has become increasingly and glaringly apparent: fish resources are depleting.

Sungai Besar Fishermen's Association deputy secretary Chia Bak Long says this scarcity is not only felt by his community but around the country and even globally.

"It has affected our livelihood. Operational costs have also risen, as have petrol prices."

At the same time, many new rulings are making things difficult, he claims.

The Department of Fisheries wants to introduce a 38mm net size, for example, but the fishermen are afraid this will let too many fish through.

"We will incur heavy losses. We want to use the current 25mm net," Chia appeals.

He says the community will welcome an alternative means of income or any new technology that will help uplift their lot.

Source: nstonline