IPOH: Individuals or groups in Perak wanting to release any species of freshwater fish into inland waters, including rivers, lakes or ponds, must obtain official permission from the state Fisheries Department.

Department of Fisheries (DOF) Perak branch director Mohd Ghazali A Manap said the matter was stipulated in the fisheries department’s guidelines which aim to protect local freshwater fish species.

“If there is a party wanting to release fish fry, whether it is a native species or otherwise, it is necessary to obtain our permission first.

“They need to come to our office and inform us what the real purpose of the release is, what species they want to release and so on. We do not want this matter to be taken lightly by any party, because it involves the importance of local fish species,” he said when contacted by Bernama, here, today.

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On May 12, a video went viral showing the actions of several individuals allegedly releasing thousands of fish fry in Sungai Hulu Bernam, Tanjung Malim, Perak.

Mohd Ghazali said that currently a comprehensive investigation including enforcement, is under the purview of the Selangor Fisheries Department.

“It was the Perak Fisheries Department which filed the complaint, but after investigation, we learned that the incident occurred in Selangor.

“Hence, any action or investigation has been handed over to them, for further action against the suspects who released thousands of fish, believed to be African catfish fry,” he said.

Two days ago, DOF director-general Datuk Adnan Hussain reportedly said that the department is identifying suspects to assist in the investigation into the viral video clip.

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