Public advised to stay away from Mersing waters due to the presence of dangerous gastropods

Public advised to stay away from Mersing waters due to the presence of dangerous gastropods

Public advised to stay away from Mersing waters due to the presence of dangerous gastropods
Public advised to stay away from Mersing waters due to the presence of dangerous gastropods

BATU PAHAT: Members of the public are advised to stay away from taking part in any water activities around the islands and beaches in Mersing following the presence of dangerous gastropods identified as Pteropods (Creseis Acicula) in the waters.

Johor health and environment committee chairman Ling Tian Soon said the warning was made by the Johor Fisheries Department last Thursday (July 4) to protect the safety of the public.

“This incident was not caused by human intervention; it is a natural phenomenon where these species have spread due to climate change, increased water temperature, and ballast water from ships.



“The Johor Fisheries Department and the Environment Department will continue to monitor the situation, and we hope that the public can refrain from doing any activities near the water,” he said.

He said this when met by reporters after the officiating ceremony of the Johor Bersih and Luban Fun Run at Dataran Astaka Shahbandar, here, on Saturday (July 6).


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Ling said this when asked to comment on some of the disappointments made by Mersing Island hopping tour operators regarding the warning statement.

According to Mersing Tourism Association (MTA) chairman Sheikh Zulkifli Sheikh Abdul Rahim, the statement should have been made with more reassurance and sharing more knowledge regarding the incident with the public.

“Don’t make statements that could create panic amongst the public; it will end up disrupting the entire tourism activity in the district.

“These gastropods are here due to global warming, and are travelling with the sea current, so we expect that by next week everything will return to normal.



“The government agencies and authorities should have informed the public that this is what happens if we fail to protect our environment,” he added.


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Earlier, the Johor Fisheries Department issued a warning about the presence of dangerous gastropods identified as pteropods in the Mersing waters.



According to the department, the pteropod, which originates from tropical and subtropical waters, was detected by a research team from the Batu Maung Fisheries Research Institute, Penang, on June 11.

“This mollusc (a soft-bodied animal without bones) has a sting that can cause inflammation, itching, dryness, peeling, redness, and scaly skin,” read a statement on its Facebook page.

Public advised to stay away from Mersing waters due to the presence of dangerous gastropods


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