Thousands Of Ikan Bilis Found On Pulau Pangkor Shores Prompts M'sians To 'Tabao' Them Home
Thousands of ikan bilis were found on the shores of Pulau Pangkor, Perak, prompting locals to bring them home in big bags
Photos and videos of anchovies leaping out of the waters and beaching on Pasir Bogak went viral over the weekend.
According to Bernama, state fisheries director Noraishah Hashim said the incident only took place at Pasir Bogak, the west coast of the island that faces away from the Peninsular.
It is understood that the beaching of anchovies happened at several intervals beginning Friday, 12 August. A small quantity of silver-type round herring fries was also found stranded on the beach.
At 7.30pm on Saturday, 13 August, the incident happened again. Noraishah said many residents and visitors came with bags to collect the anchovies between 11am and 1pm.
Fisheries officials will be monitoring the phenomenon of anchovies leaping out of the waters
Of the possible reasons, large fish hunting for small anchovies and bright lights on Pasir Bogak could explain the rare occurrence.
"Fishermen in the area said large fish, especially the alu-alu fish (yellowtail barracuda), could be hunting the anchovies, forcing them to jump onto the beach," she said, adding that artificial lights on the beach might have also lured the anchovies to the shore.
Local fishermen also told Noraishah's department that their anchovy catch had increased several days prior to the strange phenomenon, reported Bernama.
Noraishah said the anchovy population could have increased because a conservation area for fish breeding was created in 2016.
Adding to the possible reasons for the phenomenon is the production of anchovies overspilling from their breeding zones, causing waves to bring the small fish to shore
Speaking to China Press, a local owner of a fishing boat who specialises in harvesting anchovies, Lin Yu Tong (transliteration), said that it is believed that the production of anchovies in the shallow waters was too much, causing the waves to wash them ashore.
He said the phenomenon was indeed rare but it had happened several times over the past few decades.
Meanwhile, Guang Ming Daily quoted a local fisherman as saying that the anchovies seen stranded on the beach were 4cm to 5cm long, in comparison to the usual anchovies that are 3cm to 4cm long.
"The anchovies seen in the video were 'ikan bilis jalur emas' and 'ikan bilis pek pak'. Those were high-grade species. The cleaned anchovies can be sold for RM90 to RM120 per kilogram," he added.