Mystery death of 50,000 fish

A sea bass breeder was shocked today  to find more than 50,000 of the fish dead in the cages he kept at the mouth of Sungai Sedili Kecil, about 50km from here.

Fifty-seven-year-old Zakaria Jaafar estimated his loss at RM320,000.

He made the discovery when he and three workers inspected his 114 cages at about 10am.

“I do not know why the fish died. I have never experienced anything like this since I started breeding sea bass 12 years ago,” Zakaria said.

He said that most of the sea bass weighed between 500 and 700 grammes and were about ready to be sold at the local and Singapore markets.

“The heaviest were 21 parent fish which I kept for breeding. They were three years old and weighed between five and ten kilogrammes,” he said.

Zakaria said the dead fish altogether weighed nearly 30 tonnes.

Kota Tinggi MP Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar, who called on Zakaria at the breeding site to express his sympathy, hoped that the Fisheries Department would investigate the cause of death.