Hundreds of sharks and dozens of other fish were found dead at a fish farm on Karimunjawa Islands, Central Java. Cun Ming, owner of the fish farm, Hiu Kencana Shark, explained that he found hundreds of dead fish inside the farm’s ponds.
“They say that it is impossible for large fish like sharks to die suddenly. This is not a disease. Someone is probably unhappy with me, or the fish farm,” Cun Ming said. All of the farm’s sharks, which were bred exclusively in two ponds and are estimated to be at around 110 in number, were found dead. Cun Ming asserted that such a mass die-off had never occurred before. He reported the incident to the local police and sent samples of water from the ponds to a laboratory to investigate the possible causes of the incident.
The Hiu Kencana Farm has been in operation since 1960 and has attracted both foreign and local tourists over the years. The fish farm is home to hundreds of sharks, 20 goatfish, and 10 tigerfish. Hiu Kencana also currently breeds marine animals, including sea turtles.
In the past, the farm has been the subject of heavy criticism and controversy by scientific researchers and animal lovers. 25,000 people are reported to have signed a petition addressed to the Central Java Governor, Ganjar Pranowo and Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Susi Pudjiastuti. The petition asks them to rescue the fish from what they considered to be ‘exploitation’ by the farm. The petitioners claimed that the sharks have been bred in inappropriate environments, with ponds lacking live fish and marine plants, which exerts stress upon the sharks. The petition suggested a fund-raising campaign to improve the shark’s living conditions and special training for their care-takers.
Source: The Jakarta Post
Image: The Jakarta Post