Imported pet fish to be fitted with microchips

GEORGE TOWN, 16 Aug 2017: 

The Fisheries Department will implant microchips in import-prohibited fish – to help track pet fish that are being thrown into the country’s waters, as they could threaten the survival of the country’s fish species.

Director-general Datuk Ismail Abu Hassan said the microchip implants could also prevent pet fish operators from discarding the imported pet fish into the country’s waters.

“The act of dumping foreign fish could result in the disruption of the biodiversity of waters and threaten the survival of the country’s natural fish species if left unmonitored,” he said after launching an exhibition on prohibited imported foreign fish and research on seahorses at the Tunku Abdul Rahman Aquarium here yesterday.

Ismail said the microchips were implanted in the Arapaima fish species and import-prohibited foreign fish that were predators and could endanger the safety of the country’s natural fish, as well as the public.

He said the release of import-prohibited foreign fish into the country’s waters could also unleash the spread of new diseases which could result in the country’s fish to die on a large scale.

“The implants will be implemented in one month’s time,” he said, adding that fish operators needed to keep a record of clients who bought import-prohibited foreign fish to enable the department to locate the fish easily.

– Bernama

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