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Caged fish loss: Villagers want compensation
Published on: Saturday, November 28, 2015
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Caged fish loss: Villagers want compensation
KINABATANGAN: Villagers in Malaysia's largest Ramsar site who lost seven tonnes of groupers, snappers and other types of caged fish overnight are hoping for some form of compensation."Before dawn on Nov 20, we already noticed something amiss with the fish reared in 50 cages.

"By daybreak our worst fears were confirmed. The fish were all floating lifeless," said Kampung Mumiang Village Development and Security Committee Chairman Mada Hussin.

The residents suspect the cause to be pollutants from an oil palm estate, which might have flowed into the Malangking River, a tributary of the Kinabatangan following heavy rain for five consecutive days.

Kampung Mumiang is located at the estuary of the Kinabatangan River and is about an hour away by speed boat from Sandakan.

"The last time we lost fish at this scale was about four years ago. This time, we must be compensated but first, we need the authorities to provide us with reports of their investigations," said Mada.

In a statement released through Forever Sabah, a multi stakeholder programme to support Sabah's transition to a diversified, equitable, circular economy, he said the caged fish farm was a major source of income for the residents.

"We usually keep some fish for our own consumption and sell the rest. We have lost everything," he said.

Losses could run as high as RM100,000, leaving some 50 families in a dilemma as they had ceased catching fish at the nearby river due to dwindling stocks.

Having immediately notified the relevant agencies, the residents are now waiting for results of samples taken by the Fisheries Department.

They are also keen to know the findings of the Department of Environment and Sabah Forestry Department.

On Tuesday at the State Legislative Assembly, Sukau Assemblyman Datuk Saddi Abdul Rahman called for the matter to be investigated.


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