Sim: More Awareness on Plastic Disposal Risks To Marine Lives Needed

Deputy minister reminds that plastic waste in seas could pose health effects to mankind

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 21 – Effects of plastic disposal on the environment, especially to the marine ecosystem, must be a concern to everyone, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry, Sim Tze Tzin said.

“Our country is not exempted from the problem of microplastics and it has been consumed by many people through their food intake, especially from fish sources.

“A study done by the Fisheries Department with Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT), headed by Dr Najihah Muhammad, from 2018 found that based on samples taken in different aquaculture breeding areas throughout the waters off the country, there was microplastic pollution in the ecosystem, he said, according to Bernama.

Sim pointed out that plastic waste disposal in rivers had reached the seas, where the material would then be eaten by marine lives, which are later consumed by humans.

“Microplastics are very small in size, about one micron to five millimetres, and they are eaten by small fish which are eaten by bigger fish which are then eaten by humans and enter our bodies.

“This food chain is very worrying as it could cause serious health problems to mankind,” he added.

Acknowledging that the findings of the research is not evidence that that all caged fishes were contaminated by microplastics, Sim said public awareness about the dangers of plastic use, and the culture of using rivers must be increased and rubbish dumping in the sea nonetheless, must be stopped.

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