28% of the Fish Indonesians Consume Are Full of Plastic and Debris

28% of the Fish Indonesians Consume Are Full of Plastic and Debris
Photo Credit: Reuters/ 達志影像

What you need to know

Indonesia has few landfills and little waste collection or recycling. Instead, large amounts of plastic are tossed directly onto the beaches and into the ocean. A lack of purified drinking water that forces Indonesian residents to drink bottled water, and they often toss the plastic bottles.

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Singapore: 107 suspects arrested in week-long operation in Geylang

A total of 107 people, of which 61 are women, have been arrested in Geylang in a week-long operation conducted by multiple Singapore law enforcement agencies.

The operation ended at early Saturday morning (October 10), and the suspects, aged between 17 and 56 years, were involved in various offenses, such as prostitution, vice and public gaming. Other offenses they were suspected to be involved in include drug offenses, peddling of contraband cigarettes, immigration offenses and selling of illegal sexual enhancement products.

The operation was led by the police’s Bedok Division and involved officers from the Central Narcotics Bureau, Singapore Customs, Immigration & Checkpoints Authority and Health Sciences Authority, covered entertainment outlets, hotels and back lanes in Geylang.

Geylang, located east of the financial district, is usually described as the only red light area in Singapore. In 2014, the police said the place is a land of crime and an ammunition room of the country. They also say it is threatening the civic order of Singapore.

Photo Credit: Reuters/ 達志影像

Photo Credit: Reuters

Malaysia: Senior politicians unite against beleaguered Malaysia Prime Minister

Influential former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad and some key ruling party members demanded on Monday (October 12) that the embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak answer a barrage of corruption allegations.

Khairuddin Abu Hassan, former ruling party United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) division chief, and his lawyer Mathias Chang, a close aid of former prime minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, were officially charged for sabotaging its banking and financial systems in court on October 12.

Khairuddin and Chang are expected to appear in court on October 26 and could be jailed up to 15 years if found guilty, according to media reports.

Speaking at a news conference in Putrajaya on Monday (October 12), Dr. Mahathir lashed out at the prosecution, calling the move an abuse of power to stifle dissent. Mahathir said the law is meant for terrorists and he is ready to be arrested.

Mahathir said he hopes to do so by banding together several UMNO elders including former ministers Tengku Razaleigh and Sanusi Junid, UMNO Vice President Shafie Apdal and former deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

Both Muhyiddin and Shafie were sacked from the cabinet after they openly criticized Prime Minister Najib.

“Unless somebody speaks up, the government will get away with doing all kinds of wrong things," Mahathir told a press conference, according to The Star newspaper. He believes people have the right to overthrow the government in a democratic country. The only way to remove Prime Minister Najib Razak is through a vote of no confidence within the parliament.

“So they (the ruling party) may take action against me or any one of us but somebody has to take the risk to voice our disquiet, anger and feeling that the government is not looking after the interests of this country."

Photo Credit: Reuters/ 達志影像

Photo Credit: Reuters

Indonesia: Plastic for dinner

Roughly one in every four fish sold for human consumption in certain California and Indonesian markets contain plastic fragments or textile fibers in their guts. The discovery of an international team of scientists was published in the journal, “Scientific Reports.”

Researchers from the University of California, Davis, and Hasanuddin University in Indonesia sampled 76 fish from markets in Makassar, Indonesia, and 64 from Half Moon Bay and Princeton in California.

According to the study, in Indonesia, manufactured debris was found in 28% of individual fish and in 55% of all species. Similarly, in the United States, anthropogenic debris was found in 25% of individual fish and in 67% of all species. All of the fragments recovered from fish in Indonesia were plastic. In contrast, 80% of the debris found in California fish was fibers.

The research team analyzes, Indonesia has few landfills and little waste collection or recycling. Instead, large amounts of plastic are tossed directly onto the beaches and into the ocean. A lack of purified drinking water that forces Indonesian residents to drink bottled water, and they often toss the plastic bottles.

“Indonesia has some of the highest marine life richness and biodiversity on Earth, and its coastal regions – mangroves, coral reefs and their beaches – are just awash in debris," said co-author Susan Williams, a professor with the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory who has worked on projects in Indonesia for years.

The scientists emphasize that the plastic and fibers are found in the fishes’ guts so humans are likely to eat the debris only if the fish is eaten whole, as it is in Indonesia, or as with sardines and anchovies or shellfish such as clams or mussels.

Photo Credit: Reuters/ 達志影像

Photo Credit: Reuters

Compiled and translated by June and Eric Wong
Edited by Olivia Yang

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