Saturday, February 13, 2021

There aren’t plenty fish in the sea anymore, Malaysians warned

Overfishing caused Malaysia to lose almost all of its demersal fish stock in less than 60 years.

Other News

17 lagi kematian baru direkodkan, 3,505 pesakit pulih

Kes aktif dengan kebolehjangkitan pula berjumlah 51,579.

New cases stay below 4,000, another 17 deaths reported

258 in the ICU with 119 in need of respiratory assistance.

Isu J&T disebabkan tekanan bebanan kerja, kata kementerian

Isu pembayaran komisen pekerja turut menjadi punca kepada kejadian yang tular itu.

Exco Kedah pertahankan pembangunan tanah sawah padi 

Perancangan pembangunan tempatan ditetapkan bagi memenuhi keperluan semasa rakyat terutamanya di Kota Setar. 

Japan turns to cuddly toys to boost Lunar New Year sales without Chinese tourists

Japan is feeling the loss of Chinese tourists who normally come to stock up on expensive gifts for Chinese New Year.

From plates of crispy sotong goreng and bowls of fish head curry to banana leafs piled with ikan pari bakar and keropok lekor served fresh with chilli sauce, seafood plays a huge role in the lives of Malaysians.

But environmentalists warn that overfishing has jeopardised the future of the country’s marine life, even as the global population of these creatures drops as well.

A report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations last year showed that almost 95% of the world’s fish stocks are estimated to be either overfished or fished to their biological limit.

Malaysia itself is in the top 20 countries in terms of captured fisheries, ranking sixth in the Asean region. Malaysia’s fishermen catch nearly one million tonnes of seafood each year, about 40,000 tonnes of which are kept as frozen reserves.

If overfishing continues, experts predict that by 2048, none of the species currently being fished for food will have survived.

Chitra Devi of WWF-Malaysia’s Marine Programme told MalaysiaNow that adopting sustainable measures is key to saving the country’s supply of seafood.

“Sustainable seafood means that the product is harvested within the capability of fish stocks to recover, using methods that minimise the impact on marine species and habitats,” she said.

Malaysia is in the top 20 countries in terms of captured fisheries, ranking sixth in the Asean region.

It also means that seafood is produced through responsible management, emphasising the social well-being of fishermen and coastal communities.

The source of such seafood must also be traceable, Chitra said.

Results from the last trawling surveys carried out by the fisheries department in 2016 show that demersal fish stock – fish that live and feed on or near the bottom of the ocean – has dropped by 88% for the entire country since the 1960s.

In 2019, the fisheries department revealed that Malaysia had lost 96% of its demersal fish stock in less than 60 years due to overfishing.

Overfishing occurs when fish are caught at a rate at which they cannot replenish or sustain their population. This has serious consequences on the environment as well as the livelihoods of those who depend on fishing to survive.

“Fish populations and ocean habitats are severely threatened beyond their capacity to recover from the devastating impacts of overfishing. The livelihoods of fish-dependent communities are also adversely impacted,” Chitra said.

The presence of too many fishing vessels in the ocean; advanced fishing equipment designed to catch more fish; high demand for seafood across the world; unreported and unregulated fishing; and subsidies or support for those in the fishing industry to offset the cost of doing business are all major factors in overfishing.

While making the switch to sustainable seafood may appear inconvenient, Chitra assures that it will contribute to a positive change.

She envisions a “domino effect” throughout the seafood supply chain, with incentives for fishermen, aquaculture farmers, retailers, hotels and restaurants to produce and sell sustainable seafood.

“This will contribute to strengthening food security, livelihoods and the economy while preserving fish stocks and their natural environment,” she said.

Less seafood

She urged people to play their part by buying and consuming seafood responsibly.

“Refrain from buying juvenile or baby fish. If a fish looks abnormally small, it may be a juvenile.

“We avoid eating baby fish because we need to give them time to mature so that they can populate to increase in numbers. If we eat them when they are too young, they don’t have a chance to repopulate.”

She also suggests obtaining seafood from sustainable sources and eating less of it by incorporating more fruits, vegetables and legumes in one’s daily diet.

“By eating less seafood, we are lessening our seafood demand and hence contributing towards lessening the pressure of overfishing.”

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates:

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news and analyses.

Related Articles

Degree holder slogs through tough times for RM1,000 a month

The money is never enough, but as long as her family is healthy and safe, Jenny has no complaints.

Online shift brings kids closer to red-light territory and paedo-porn

The same messaging apps used to host homework and discussion groups are also used by those looking to access sexually explicit material.

Reunion dinners under MCO a tall order for restaurants

With dine-in customers limited to just two per table, restaurateurs are forced to come up with creative ways to continue delivering a crucial part of Chinese New Year celebrations.

No electricity or running water, but ‘Uncle Kapitan’ waits to celebrate new year anyway

Lim Tiap Beng lives alone in an old wooden house in a village in Negeri Sembilan but he is happy that he has good neighbours and a friend who looks out for him.

Fossil fuel pollution causes 1 in 5 deaths globally, study shows

The new study nearly doubles previous estimates of the number of people killed by fossil fuel pollution.