FISHERMEN in Kesang, Muar, are lamenting the poor harvest of oysters, cockles and fish at the mouth of Sungai Muar.
|Muar and Ledang Fishermen’s Association chairman Mohd Yusoff Atan (right) showing the low oyster catch in a ‘pangau’.|
They blamed their woes on the sand dredging activities and construction of a marina at the river mouth which began a few years ago.
Muar and Ledang Fishermen's Association chairman Mohd Yusoff Atan claimed that the water current at the bottom of Sungai Muar has changed.
He said oyster nets or pangau placed one kilometre out into the sea were now abandoned due to the dwindling catch. He also said fishermen had noticed a lower catch of cockles and fish such as belanak and sembilang.
"Ten years ago, fishermen could land 100kg of cockles in two hours, but now it is hard to get 10kg in a day.
"Fishermen also used to collect up to 70kg of oysters from the 10 pangau in the area."
Yusoff said traders at food stalls in Kesang and nearby Parit Bunga were forced to buy oysters from Masai in Johor Baru.
"It is a reversed situation when oyster spats from Kesang were sold in Johor Baru years ago," he said.
Oyster seller Ungku Husin Ungku Ismail, 38, said the low oyster catch has forced him to look for sources from Masai.
Ungku Husin sells up to 180kg of oysters per day but his sales would quadruple during public holidays.
The Masai oysters are slightly bigger and priced at RM4 per kg while the Kesang oysters are RM2 per kg.
But the Kesang oysters have a distinct sweet flavour that many people like.
SOURCE: NST, JOHOR STREETS, 2 JULY 2009