No to destruction of mangrove forests

CAP urges the Penang state government and Forestry Department to investigate the felling of mangrove trees in Kuala Jalan Baru, Balik Pulau. Stringent action should be taken immediately on those responsible in committing this atrocity.

CAP’s investigation found that the mangrove forest destruction has resulted in degradation of the coastal environment, threatening marine life and the source of livelihood of local fishers. The mangrove trees have become victims of shrimp farming projects and CAP has seen traces of dead trees that were most likely poisoned first before the project was implemented.

CAP regrets that the authorities have not paid much attention to the marine and river pollution problems that have lingered here over the past ten years arising from effluents from the shrimp ponds which have been threatening the livelihood of the fishers here.

The pollution has resulted in the dwindling of marine life such as fish, prawns, crabs and shell-fish that are the fishers’ main catch.  The income of fishers has declined more than 50%. Some fishers also complained of skin irritation when exposed to the polluted water.

CAP urges the Southwest District Land Office, Department of Environment (DOE) and the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) to thoroughly investigate and address this problem.

CAP calls on the Penang state government to immediately stop approval of aquaculture projects in the state as they destroy mangrove forests and seriously threatens the environment.

CAP believes if this matter is not dealt with firmly and effectively the natural breeding area of marine life will be endangered and fishery resources off the coast of Penang will face depletion. More than 4,000 fishers who depend on marine life for their livelihood will be affected if the problem persists.

Press Statement, 9 March 2013