KUANTAN: A week after the "red sea" phenomenon at Balok beach here, nearby villagers were in for another shock today when they found hundreds of dead fish floating in Sungai Tonggak near Gebeng.
However, State fishery authorities claim that initial tests revealed the cause of the dead fish most likely had nothing to do with the recent phenomenon.
Balok Makmur Rukun Tetangga chairman Abdul Rahman Ali, 57, said villagers spotted dead ikan belanak (mullet) washed up on the sand banks during low tide about 7.30am.
He said as far as he knew, there were no bauxite stockpiles near the river banks.
"However, the contaminated water might have come from other sources including the drains or maybe the (contaminated) red sea waters last week killed the fish before being swept by currents into this part of the river.
"As villagers sometimes cast their nets in the river, I hope the authorities will conduct checks to confirm if the fish in the river is safe for consumption," he said when met today.
Ab Razak Musa, 56, from Taman Seberang Balok said it was the second time such an incident occurred in the village.
"A similar incident occurred some time ago but there were fewer dead fish compared to now.
"With the bauxite issue a hot topic, we cannot rule out any possibility that river contamination from bauxite has killed the fish," he said.
Meanwhile State Fisheries director Adnan Hussain said his officers had conducted several tests and collected water samples for analysis.
"After some tests by our officers, the results showed that the incident was nothing unusual.
"Initial tests showed the (cause of) dead fish had nothing to do with silt and mud. No other rivers here are affected except for Sungai Tonggak," he said.
He said a detailed report on the incident was expected to be complete in a week.