IPOH: In conjunction with the international Biodiversity Day, the Perak state government must stop and cancel all shrimp aquaculture activities at mangrove swamp areas, says a non-governmental organisation.
Persatuan Pendidikan dan Kebajikan Jaringan Nelayan Pantai Malaysia (Jaring) secretary Azrilnizam Omar (pic) said they received complaints regarding proposals of such ponds at mangrove swamp land owned by the Perak State Agricultural Development Corporation.
He claimed the current land size for the proposal is about 80ha and is located at the coastal area near Kampung Sungai Betul Bawah in Tanjung Piandang, Kerian.
“In the complaint received, we were informed that the land was given to a cooperative on Nov 1, 2020, with preliminary works such as road construction already in progress.
“Based on our checks, the area is not within the Aquaculture Industrial Zone gazetted by the state government.
“The implementation of shrimp farming in the area conflicts with the Kerian District 2035 local plan draft, where aquaculture activities that are allowed only involve fish farming in cages, ornamental fish and shellfish.” he said.
Azrilnizam added that such aquaculture activities not only destroy mangrove swamp forest, but also the breeding areas and nurseries of marine life such as fish, shrimp, and crabs.
He said frequent release of pond wastewater into the sea and rivers would “kill” marine life in the area and affect the catch, and the lives of coastal fishing communities, who are mainly in the B40 group.
He added that Perak is among the states that have lost mangrove forests due to various reasons including aquaculture activities based on a report by the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia in 2011.
“Therefore it is inappropriate for the state government to allow mangrove swamps that still exist on the coasts and rivers of Perak to be destroyed.
“Mangrove swamp areas must be gazetted as forest reserves,” he added.