M Update 16/1/2019 – The Fisheries Department has advised the public not to release or dispose foreign fish species into the country’s waters to prevent disruption to the local ecosystem.
Commenting on news report over the presence of ‘ikan bandaraya’ (Amazon Sailfin Catfish) species affecting the local rivers’ ecosystem, the department, in a statement yesterday, said the increase in foreign fish population has negatively impacted the habitat of local freshwater fishes.
The presence of ‘ikan bandaraya’ has affected river fish revenues due to the decline in stocks following the disturbance on the habitat and the catfish’s predatory nature, the statement said.
“There are reports on huge population of ‘ikan bandaraya’ that resulted in fishermen incurring losses in terms of damages to fish net, wasted hours as well as other additional costs,” it said.
The department also said the fish was found to be propagating well in several rivers in Malaysia.
During breeding or when looking for food, the fish would burrow into the ground or riverbanks causing the water to turn murky and erosion of the riverbanks.
The fish was also found to consume some of the aquatic plants needed by local freshwater species for their reproduction habitat.