|An annoying side effect of Land Reclamation|
Fishermen and the small-scale traditional fishing communities in Melaka, complain about the declining numbers of fish near the coastline of the Straits, since the land reclamation started in 1995.
To compensate for their loss in catch and income, these fishermen navigate their boats to deeper waters, further from the shoreline.
But there they will find a different variety of marine species in their nets.
Recently fishermen arrived at their fishing station with some exotic species, e.g. Wedgefish and Guitar-sharks.
These species are not protected by Malaysian Law yet.
However, the Wedgefish and Guitar-shark are reported in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as:
Sadly, these collateral catches are very popular on the Melaka fish markets and restaurants, for their fins. Good money can be made.
Guitar Shark (Belly)
But these detrimental catches reduce the Critically Endangered Wedgefish/Shark population in the Melaka Straits.
Their existence comes under enormous pressure, and they might disappear shortly.
Wedgefish and Guitar-Sharks are very vulnerable to overfishing because its reproductive rate is relatively slow.
Now, the small village and its fishermen cannot be blamed for catching and bringing ashore these fish.
They just survive by following their family's traditions; fishing & live by the sea.
The real people to blame are the traders and consumers of these fish. Those, who sell them in their restaurants.
They all know the vulnerable status of these species, but for them the money prevails over nature.
This mentality must be changed by creating awareness and understanding of the Marine Life in the Melaka Straits.
To build a better understanding about the marine life in Melaka, the people must be educated and informed frequently.
With this webpage we hope to reach the people of Melaka, contribute to their awareness, and let them understand the value of “Laut Melaka”.