Alien predator fishes take toll on Timah Tasoh fishermen
Last Update: 05/12/2019
PADANG BESAR, Dec 5 -- The presence of an alien predator fish, the 'Peacock Bass' or Raja Ikan, that has high spawning rate and menacing the Timah Tasoh dam here is a cause of concern for freshwater fishermen as their fish landing have been declining.
Nelayan Timah Tasoh chairman Azhar Abd Aziz said the presence of the alien fish had caused the native species to decline because it feeds on the native fishes.
“The fish, which originated from South America, breeds rapidly and also has a vicious eating habit of feeding on small fry and local species which then threaten the breeding survival of native fishes like Talapia, Baung and Lampan which are the main source of our income,” he told Bernama recently.
Azhar, 31, is thankful for the State Fisheries Department for their concern for this issue by encouraging anglers to fish the Ikan Raja to reduce its population while preserving the local species.
He wished members of the public to never release any alien fish into the rivers or lakes as it would affect the survival of the native fish species as well as the fishermen’s source of income.
There are 60 fishermen who are dependent on the native fishes in the dam apart from making ikan pekasam (fish pickle) for livelihood.
Meanwhile, Perlis Fisheries Department director Ismail Ibrahim said the department prohibits any individual from releasing any kind of fish into the dam to prevent disturbance to the population of the native species.
He said regular monitoring has been done to ensure that the public would not release alien fish into the dam as they pleased.
“Some of our efforts are by encouraging anglers to come and fish here as well as putting up signs that prohibit the release of alien fishes at the freshwater fish sanctuary of Timah Tasoh Dam,” he said.