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Mass fish deaths in West Sumatra’s Lake Maninjau level to excessive climate and overfishing


Mass fish deaths grew to become a recurring drawback in Lake Maninjau greater than a decade in the past when there was a rise in fishing actions, particularly fish farming involving floating web cages.   

Mr Tommy Adam, head of advocacy of WALHI, an environmental non-governmental organisation for West Sumatra, mentioned that locals dwelling close to Lake Maninjau who was rice farmers switched to fishing within the early 1990s.

Lots of them used floating web cages to develop and harvest their fish. 

“They have been fairly profitable as a result of they may catch huge numbers of Nile tilapia and different tilapia fish,” mentioned Mr Adam.

He famous that there are about 27,000 fish cages on the lake whereas the usual regulation permits for about 7,000 cages solely given the scale of Lake Maninjau is 99.5 sq km.

Makes an attempt by the native authorities to manage using this methodology of fish farming haven’t been profitable as many locals rely on fishing for his or her livelihood.

Among the many rules typically flouted by the fish farmers is the necessity for them to limit the variety of floating web cages they’ll use per fishing zone. That is to stop them from flocking in a single explicit space and therefore keep away from overfishing there. 

Mr Adam mentioned that Lake Maninjau can also be a caldera lake fashioned by volcanic eruption and accommodates sulphur which is poisonous to fish which might worsen the issue of overfishing. 

“The marine local weather in Lake Maninjau the place the wind is kind of sturdy at evening, causes the water mass to rise to the highest which in oceanography is known as upwelling.

“When that occurs sulphur and fish waste will go up on account of huge fishing and suffocate the fishes resulting from an absence of oxygen,” he added.  

“Upwelling and downwelling are frequent there however the scenario is exacerbated by local weather change. Now we can not predict the climate, all of a sudden there’s heavy rain, all of a sudden there are sturdy winds,” famous Mr Adam.

Based on Mr Adam, prior to now the authorities might predict the climate, so they may alert the fish farmers when to reap their fish earlier than the sturdy winds happen.

 “There was boards with such indicators alerting them however now I believe local weather change has affected the native climate, so we can not predict it anymore,” he mentioned.

With overfishing, it additional aggravated the entire scenario, he added.

Professor Hafrijal Syandri, a fisheries professional from Padang’s Bung Hatta College agrees.

He believes that aside from overfishing, mass fish deaths solely occur if there’s extraordinarily unhealthy climate.

Prof Syandri final visited the lake earlier January this yr and located no mass fish demise, presumably as a result of the climate has been good.

“I went there a number of days in the past, and there have been individuals who have been already spreading new seeds.

“So, to them, the mass fish demise isn’t an issue. They already know there might be mass fish demise from November onwards, it is just us who make a fuss,” he mentioned.

Prof Syandri famous that though the native folks there don’t assume they suffered a serious loss from the mass fish deaths, it’s nonetheless an issue.

“When greater than 1,000 tonnes of fish die, the place ought to the carcasses be disposed of,” he requested. 

However leaving the useless fish within the lake would additionally have an effect on the surroundings because it harmed the water high quality and left a foul odor there. 

“The lake was a vacationer vacation spot, these days not anymore as a result of it stinks,” added Prof Syandri who mentioned that when he final visited the lake the carcasses of the useless fish have been nonetheless left floating on the floor.

This text was initially revealed by Learn the unique article right here.

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