i-SHARP aquaculture project negatively impacts fisherfolk and the environment

The 1,000ha Integrated Shrimp Aquaculture Park (i-SHARP) in Setiu is causing negative impacts to the environment and local fisherfolk.

SAM’s forecast that the project will bring about negative impacts to local fisherfolk and the environment has been proven. It was evident from the severe flooding during the recent monsoon season. Land reclamation work that was carried out on a flood-plain to heighten the project area has resulted in diversion of natural water flow and consequently caused extraordinary floods.

 The developer has also not complied with the Environmental Management Plan (EMP) of the Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment report for the project. The EMP states that effluents from the shrimp ponds will be controlled and treated before being released into the river to meet the standards set by the Department of Environment (DOE).

SAM has been informed that the project is now operating without a sedimentation pond. The untreated effluents are being discharged directly into the river, affecting the water quality of Sungai Chaluk and threatening aquatic life.  Therefore, SAM urges the DOE to investigate and take immediate action on the project developer for failing to comply with the stipulated conditions.

SAM has also received information that the underground pipeline system is facing technical problems.  This pipeline system is used for sea water intake and channeled to the ponds. It is impossible to supply sea water to the other ponds that has been planned without a proper water intake system as stated in the DEIA report.

SAM is now very concerned about another mega aquaculture project that is proposed in Marang, Terengganu. This 1,000-ha integrated shrimp farm project with an investment of RM1billion is expected to commence middle of this year.

SAM is of the view that this aquaculture project should not be conducted taking into consideration that the existing i-SHARP project is yet to prove its viability and has already caused negative impacts to the environment and the local community.

As such, SAM urges the government to stop the i-SHARP project and not approve any more such aquaculture projects.

Press Release, 21 March 2012