Stench driving seafood lovers away
Business at the popular seafood restaurants is badly affected due to the stench from the 100 tonnes of fish found dead. -NST
By: Sim Bak Heng
JOHOR BARU, MALAYSIA - Business at the popular seafood restaurants along the shores of Teluk Jawa here is badly affected due to the stench from the 100 tonnes of fish found dead at the Tebrau Straits.
The dead fish are being washed ashore in front of the restaurants since last Sunday.
Most diners leave the moment they are greeted by the offending smell of the decomposing fish.
Restaurant owners claim that their business has dropped by at least half since Wednesday when the foul smell filled the air.
Some of the restaurant owners have hired extra workers to clear the dead fish washed ashore since Thursday.
Some buried the dead fish at the shore while others packed them in plastic bags and discarded them at a special site provided by Southern Waste Management.
The tedious and time-consuming job will most likely drag on for several more days as more dead fish are expected to be washed ashore.
TKK Restaurant owner Ang Choo Voon said his business had gone down by about 60 per cent.
"Most diners drove away the moment they opened their car doors and were 'hit' by the stench. We do not even have time to explain to them.
"I understand why they leave as the stench is unbearable."
Todak Restaurant owner, who only wanted to be known as Ah Tong, hoped all the dead fish would be cleared before the influx of Singaporeans over the weekend.
"My business has dropped drastically. Initially, it was about 30 per cent. As the stench got stronger, my customers are getting fewer. "
It is learnt that some fish farmers have left the dead fish in their cages in the area to rot.
The losses suffered by the eight farmers operating there could run up to RM3 million as most of the fish are the premium giant grouper and tiger grouper types, mainly for export to Taiwan, China and Singapore where they could fetch up to RM50 (S$20.50) per kg.
The Department of Environment is still investigating the cause of the sudden death of the fish. The death could be caused by water pollution, a depletion of dissolved oxygen or uncontrolled development in nearby areas.
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