Johor orders review of Lido Beach reclamation EIA as fish again die from low oxygen levels

Ben Tan
The dead fish that washed ashore for the second time on Lido Beach, in front of Sultanah Aminah Hospital near Johor Baru city centre today. — Picture via Facebook

JOHOR BARU, Sept 6 — The Johor government has ordered the state Department of Environment (DoE) to review the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report for the land reclamation project at Lido Beach after another batch of dead fish emerged today.

Johor Local Government, Urban Wellbeing and Environment Committee chairman Tan Chen Choon said he has directed the department to see if there is any connection to low dissolved oxygen (DO) levels responsible for today’s incident.

“The EIA review will look for more information (about the project) and to also find comprehensive solutions to prevent such incidents from reoccurring,” he said in a statement today.

The Jementah assemblyman said he was taking the matter seriously as this was the second time in days that dead fish were reported to have washed ashore along Lido Beach in front of Hospital Sultanah Aminah (HSA).

Tan disclosed that in-situ readings recorded by the DoE and the Johor Baru District Fisheries Department found the DO level to be just 1.2 parts per million (ppm) or well below the 5ppm needed to sustain marine life.

The preliminary findings concluded that weather and irregularities with the drainage system were likely responsible, with the latter possibly connected to reclamation works nearby.

“In fact, the preliminary findings did not find any industry source that could be attributed to the cause of the incident,” he said, dismissing factory pollution as a probable cause. 

The previous incident occurred on August 27 and 28, which had also been due to low DO.

A land reclamation project that as part of a multibillion-ringgit integrated waterfront development is ongoing in the area for a project called Lido Boulevard.

Located on 49.51ha, the project will be developed in phases and will cover a 2.4km stretch along the Tebrau Straits, running from the defunct Lot One shopping complex to the Harbour Master’s office adjacent to the HSA.

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