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PUTATAN:  Universiti Malaysia Sabah Borneo Marine Reseach Institute (BMRI) will carry out another two more projects to release aquatic life into rivers this year.

Disclosing this, the school’s director, Professor Dr Saleem Mustafa, said they were in the stage of discussion to plan the best strategy to implement the projects in the hope of producing sustainable supplies of marine life.

He stressed that the selection of suitable marine life was vital, adding that several factors were taken into account such as its biological nature, natural habitat, economic factor and the support from the local community.

“While we are working closely with the relevant bodies on this project, it will not succeed without the support and cooperation from the local community. We are looking forward to their feedback for the implementation of this first project launched today (yesterday),” he said referring to the launch of the first phase of the Lobster Ranching Project at the Muhibbah Hall in Petagas, here, by Deputy Chief Minister cum Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Yahya Hussin.

Saleem added that BMRI will hold discussion sessions from time to time to identify the suitable species to be released at several locations for the next phase.

He said there have been requests from individuals to release fries or shrimps into the rivers.

Saleem added that the project was initiated to rehabilitate and restock the fisheries in the rivers in Sabah.

“This upgrading and fish releasing project is the latest science subject that has gained public interest due to its benefits,” he said.

He added that while the quality of fries and shrimps produced is important, another vital factor is its new habitat.

“That is why we hope that this district will not ignore the quality of environment, river and sea despite the race for development.

“It is important for the people to help create a conducive and comfortable environment for their new ‘guests’ … let us do it for the good of biodiversity and fisheries here.”

Source : The Borneo Post

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