Stop the intrusion of foreign fishing boats
Published on: Friday, August 24, 2018
Kota Kinabalu: The presence of Vietnamese fishing boats in the Sabah waters, particularly around the waters around Kuala Penyu, is causing concern among local fishermen, said Junz Wong, Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry of the state.
He said that these burglaries did not only result in losses for fishermen in terms of falling fishing, but also damage to ecosystems and creatures such as bivalves.
"That is why the maritime authorities need to take action quickly and use their resources in areas normally entered by these foreign boats to prevent the extinction of the sea's resources and to influence the livelihoods of local fishermen," he said in a statement. statement, Thursday.
According to the data, Sabah has about 51 fishing vessels licensed by the Ministry of Fisheries, which are still active and are operated by 11 local companies.
Of the 51 vessels, 18 are local, while the other 33 are Vietnamese, but are managed by local companies that have previously obtained permits.
From 2015, however, foreign vessels that have been taken over from Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, China and Brunei may no longer operate unless approved prior to 2015.
Fishing vessels may operate within only two operational zones, namely the West Coast Zone and the Tawau zone at more than 30 nautical miles from the beach.
At present, seven vessels are in possession of a license to fish with seine nets, 11 for trawlnet fishing and 33 for drift nets.
"I still get complaints that fishing boats that have a license to use drift nets use trawl nets," Wong said.
He called on the related agencies to increase enforcement to curb this.
Wong also praised the close cooperation between the Sabah Fisheries Department and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and hoped that this would continue to ensure effective enforcement.
MMEA has so far caught five Vietnamese fishing boats in the waters of Sabah this year.
"We will have the boats that have been seized and lost by sinking them into artificial reefs as a breeding ground for fish. We also want to give a clear warning to those who go against the law", said he.
The waters of Sabah consist of 244,140 square kilometers with 1,359 kilometers of coastline.
Wong said that the vast open waters and coastline are no excuse for not giving priority to the importance of the area.
"I hope that everyone will work together by reporting to the relevant authorities whether they see illegal fishing activities or foreign boats entering our waters," he said.