KINILENS | Johor is Malaysia’s biggest producer of mussels. In 2020, the southern state contributed 951.7 tonnes of mussels worth RM 4.7 million.
One of the main places to produce mussels is Kampung Sungai Temon near Danga Bay, a Seletar tribal village.
Seletar, sea gypsies, make a living from seafood along the Straits of Johor separating Malaysia and Singapore. After being flanked by development and hit by a pandemic, they relied heavily on mussel farming to make a living.
Saltwater mussels are a species that are easy to breed. However, they are very sensitive to freshwater. The effect of sea reclamation there is that the area of mangrove trees that act as a filter of fresh water before entering the sea has been reduced.
During the rainy season, Seletar folk will suffer losses if their mussels die.