TEMERLOH – The move by the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry to supply one million ‘talapia’ and ‘patin’ fish fry has given a ray of hope to the industry in this district.
Generally, fish breeders in the district suffered losses running into hundreds of thousands of ringgit after their caged fish died due to the El Nino phenomenon, but with the assistance provided, their burden had been eased to a certain extent.
“Previously, we were burdened with the problem of finding the capital to buy fish fry and fish food. Where do we find the capital as all our caged fish had died.
“Fortunately, the government is providing aid, we can now breathe again,” said Saadan Kassin, 60, who estimated his losses to be more than RM150,000 after the fish he bred in 15 cages in Pangsaenam, here died because of the hot weather.
Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek when visiting Temerloh last Thursday, announced the talapia and patin fish fry aid for 332 caged fish breeders and fish pond operators affected by the El Nino phenomenon throughout the country.
Pahang was the worst-affected state with 239 fish breeders losing a total of RM5 million followed by Terengganu (54 breeders), Perak (27), Perlis (eight) and Kedah (four).
Another fish breeder, Mohd Hamdi Yaakob, 46, who lost more than RM100,000, regarded the government’s decision to provide the aid as a good piece of news for caged fish breeders in the district.
“Fish breeding is my source of income to feed my family, when this (dead fish) incident occurred, we felt like we were doomed and could not proceed.
“Fortunately there is this aid, otherwise I felt like having lost the urge to resume the caged-fish breeding business,” said Mohd Hamdi who had been involved in the industry for more than seven years.
Meanwhile, a check by Bernama found that most of the fish cages were now left on the sandbars after the water level in the Sungai Pahang dropped drastically as a result of the hot weather.
However, river fish such as patin, talapia, baung and lampam could still be bought at a reasonable price although supply was scarce. – BERNAMA