Photo from Borneopost 4 Oct 2007
"A city council spokesman says fish could have been choked by oil from food public give fish".
" Kuching City South Council (MBKS) spokesman said the pond was not designed for fish and therefore, never released any fish into it.
“It’s the public who released the fish into the pond and feed them. Our security staff even said some people bring along sacks of bread and buns, probably from a local bakery,” he said when contacted for comments."
He said while the intention was good, oil from the bread and buns like butter and coconut buns would probably cause the water to turn oily and murky.
Overtime, he said the fish population, comprising tilapia, ‘kaloi’ and Japanese carp, multiplied to such an extent that they caused the water to become murkier and the water pump to malfunction.
“We have to service the water pump regularly and in the process, would normally drain the water from seven to three or four feet deep. On Tuesday, we noticed one or two dead fish but when we returned the next day the fish were all dead,” he said.
He suspected that the fish could not withstand the murky water and therefore died due to suffocation during the night when the water was drained to the three or four-foot level for maintenance work.
“It’s a pity that the fish have died but we’re not experts in fish breeding and do not realise that they cannot withstand the murky water. They might have also died due to lack of oxygen,” he said.
He advised the people not to release any fish into the man-made pond after this episode.
“The pond is not designed to keep fish,” he said, adding that the council had no problems with other man-made ponds in its jurisdiction before.
Borneo Post 4th October 2007
KUCHING: Fish in the pond used to be the main attraction of Friendship Park here.
"And the recent dead fish incident had caused disappointment to the public who frequently visited the park."
“And if the council never released any fish into the pond why were there signboards indicating no fishing in the park?,” she asked.
She said she used to see public releasing fish fry into the pond but never knew that the pond was not meant for fish and thought that others might not be aware of it as well because there was no signboard saying that the public could not release fish into the pond.
“Feeding the fish in the pond with bread and buns could have resulted in the murky water but at the same time being able to feed the fish was what made the park so special,” she added.
"She hoped that after the repair works were done, the fish should be placed back into the pond and proper maintenance measures taken."
"Not to forget, necessary signboards must be placed in the park to avoid such incident from recurring, she said."
But having just visited the place last weekend I did notice that there was some ongoing maintenance activity at the park. The water level was lower maybe because of the draining of the water. I talked with the Security Guard at the place and to quote him "...he explained that the water is being replaced. Its always once a year event which costs RM20,000. The fishes will be stored by the Majlis Bandaraya Kuching Selatan water tanks." Well, that's just a chit chat session with a guard so I would not want to say if he is the expert reference point or its just layman's knowledge.
Due to the maintenance work and the draining of the water, I would have guessed at a glance that the fish might have died from the lack of oxygen (increased Biochemical Oxygen Demand - BOD) resulting in an increase in toxicity level (the greenish colour of the water). I would just end it here and let the proper authorities mull over what to do next. There could have been many factors which contributed to the death of those fishes and everyone had a hand in it and everyone could have had prevented it. But that is history now and there's always a lesson to be learnt from these incidents. In the words of my daughter when we left the park that Sunday, to the fishes that she grew fond of every weekend "Goodbye Fish'.