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[Watch] Outrage Erupts As Thousands Of Catfish Released Into River, Threatening Delicate Ecosystem

[Watch] Outrage Erupts As Thousands Of Catfish Released Into River, Threatening Delicate Ecosystem

A viral social media posting claimed that 10,000 catfish were released into Sungai Bernam.

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In a shocking display of ecological ignorance, a social media post showed people releasing dozens of plastic bags filled with catfish into a river.

The location is believed to be underneath a bridge that crosses Sungai Bernam in Tanjung Malim, Selangor.

The posting, which has since gone viral, has ignited a firestorm of outrage among environmentalists and nature enthusiasts who fear the devastating impact this could have on the river’s delicate ecosystem.

Several children watched as adults emptied the bags of catfish into the river.

Unwanted Guests: The High Cost of Invasive Catfish in Sungai Bernam’s Fragile Waters

Catfish, which are not native to the Sungai Bernam, are known to be highly invasive and can quickly dominate an ecosystem, outcompeting native species for food and resources.

While some individuals have jokingly suggested that introducing catfish could provide a new fishing opportunity in the future, most commenters agree that the cons far outweigh any potential pros.

The release of invasive species can have long-lasting and irreversible impacts on an ecosystem’s delicate balance, and the short-term benefits of a new fishing spot pale in comparison to the potential loss of native biodiversity.

Netizens argue it could potentially wipe out populations of native fish species such as the kelah, lampan, and tengas.

These species, which have evolved over to thrive in the unique conditions of Sungai Bernam, are ill-equipped to compete with the hardy and adaptable catfish.

The incident has prompted calls for the Department of Fisheries (DOF) to swiftly investigate and prosecute those responsible.

Many demand that the DOF crack down on releasing non-native species into the country’s rivers and lakes and educate the public about the dangers of introducing invasive species into natural habitats.

As of the time of writing, no official statement has been released by the DOF or any other government agency regarding the incident.

Meanwhile, Eco-Steps Malaysia president Kingston Khoo said it highlights how much Malaysia need to up its game in making everyone aware of the damage that invasive species can do to our beloved rivers and marine ecosystems.

He called on the government to step in and help out, working together with both the private sector and public to spread the word, and also to have meaningful conversations with religious groups to help stop these harmful practices.

A good way to tackle this is by putting together a list of local, harmless species that are perfect for our rivers. This list would also suggest how many of each species to release, carefully worked out to make sure we don’t mess up the balance of our ecosystems

Khoo on maintaining the delicate balance of the ecosystems.

Malaysia’s Ongoing Struggle with Invasive Species from Catfish to ‘Ikan Bandaraya'”

This situation echoes recent challenges Malaysia has faced with another invasive species, the “ikan bandaraya,” highlighting a recurring issue with invasive species threatening local ecosystems.

The “ikan bandaraya,” also known as the Amazon sailfin catfish (Pterygoplichthys pardalis), is a freshwater fish native to South America.

It has become an invasive species in many parts of the world due to its ability to adapt to various environments and its voracious appetite.

Various efforts are underway to control the spread of “ikan bandaraya.”

These include public awareness campaigns, fishing tournaments, and the introduction of natural predators.

However, it remains challenging due to the fish’s adaptability and reproductive rate.

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