Amazon Sailfin Catfish, or commonly known as ‘Ikan Bandaraya’, is a type of fish originating from the South American continent, imported as a ‘janitor’ fish for aquariums. However, having it released into the local river could threaten the river’s ecosystem here in Malaysia. Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia (LKIM) has called for the public not to dump the fishes into the river.
The Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia (LKIM) has called on the public not to throw or release the “ikan bandaraya”, popular as an aquarium cleaner, into rivers and lakes.
Its chairman, Muhammad Faiz Fadzil, said the massive population of the alien fish had affected the fishermen’s income where the catch of local fish was scarce and fishing nets damaged.Source: NST
LKIM Chairman Muhammad Faiz Fadzil has also said that the dumping of this fish into rivers has increased its population which would have short and long term effects like damage to fishery habitat, aquatic surroundings and biodiversity of freshwater fish in Malaysia.
This is in relevance to a report by NST, where the fishing jetty head, from Taman Tampoi Utama in Johor Bahru, complains about the presence of ‘Ikan Bandaraya’ which has affected the daily catch.
“Now, every time after it rains, the fish would be frequently caught in the fishermen’s nets, causing a lot of time spent freeing and throwing them away.
Previously, the fish could only be found in the upstream area of Sungai Skudai near the water gate, but now it can also be found downstream near Taman Tampoi Utama,”Source: Taman Tampoi Utama fishing head jetty Osman Kassim, NST
State fisheries department director Zamani Omar, addresses the issues by setting up a team to investigate the report they’ve received.
“We did not receive any report on the matter before it came out in the media. We need to investigate the matter to find out the real situation, including the effects on the ecosystem.
The investigation is expected to take between two to four weeks. We don’t want to be too hasty because the news report said the issue had been ongoing for about 10 years.
We want to know the real situation so that we can find out the cause of the problem and take the necessary action so that it does not recur,” said Zamani.Source: NST
This issue has caught the attention of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) School of Environmental and Natural Resources Sciences senior lecturer Dr Abdullah Samat. In an interview with NST, he said that the presence of Ikan Bandaraya could threaten the native fish species and a potential to weaken the riverbank structure.
Besides that, the fish had the potential to weaken the river- bank structure caused by their burrowing habit during spawning season, he added.
“This kind of fish does disrupt our aquatic ecosystem.”Source: Dr Abdullah Samat, NST
Abdullah Samat also added that the presence of the fish will bring no benefit to the local river ecosystem.
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