Selangor Journal
A view of the river cleaning vessel Interceptor 002 collecting waste from Sungai Klang in 2021. — Picture by LANDASAN LUMAYAN SDN BHD

Several Selangor rivers’ ecosystem threatened by invasive fish species’ presence

PUTRAJAYA, May 18 — The ecosystem of several main rivers in Selangor are threatened by the presence of invasive fish species, based on an inventory programme conducted by the Selangor Fisheries Department (DOF) and feedback from anglers.

Its director Noraisyah Abu Bakar said the local fish population in the state include the golden mahseer (ikan kelah), Jullien’s golden carp (ikan temoleh) the sultan fish (ikan jelawat), the tinfoil barb (ikan lampam), Puntioplites bulu (ikan tengalan), the golden belly barb (ikan kerai), the bonylip barb (ikan terbul), the hampala (ikan sebarau), Mystus (ikan baung), and giant freshwater prawn.

These species are being threatened by the introduction of invasive species in rivers in the state, including Sungai Klang, Sungai Langat, Sungai Selangor, and Sungai Bernam, as well as in several lakes and retention ponds.

“Invasive fish species like the Asian redtail catfish (ikan baung ekor merah), peacock bass, and pacu (a relative of the piranha fish) have the potential to breed and grow quickly, and some of these fish can tolerate polluted waters, such as the African cat fish and the suckermouth catfish,” she said.

Noraisyah noted that the rise in invasive species is due to several factors, including religious rituals and fulfilling vows and the dumping of foreign fish species brought in by irresponsible parties as pets after they are unable to tend to them.

The department does not forbid or ban anyone from conducting rituals or fulfilling vows if they do not release invasive fish species into public waterways.

Those interested in releasing fish are urged to obtain advice from the nearest district Fisheries Department and the department encourages releasing local fish species like lampam asli, baung, and giant freshwater prawns.

Those who find themselves no longer capable of rearing foreign fish are asked to contact the nearest Fisheries Department directly to hand over their fish in a proper manner.

— Bernama

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