SHAH ALAM, 6 Nov: The Central Government and fishery associations are urged to resolve the issue of net sizing and the prohibition of employing foreign workers immediately before consumer are affected from the fishermen’s strike which was been going on since 1 November.
The Executive Councillor in charge of Islamic Affairs, Agricultural Modernisation and Rural Development, Sallehen Mukhyi, said this when he found that the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry refuses to budge and the fishing communities have resolved to continue the protest by refusing to go out to sea until the enforcement of certain provisions in the Fisheries Act 1985 is withdrawn.
Sallehen is actively monitoring the situation through meetings with the fishing community. He said that he is ready to help so that discussions between the two sides are finalised.
“We are not saying that the enforcement is improper and we are also not saying that the actions of the fishermen are not right. However, to appease the situation, a public hearing must be held.
“Views of the fishermen and all involved parties should be taken into account and a win-win solution has to be found” he said.
On 1 November, the Ministry enforced the law that the hole size of nets were to be enlarged from 25 millimetres to 38 millimeters. The overall size of the nets is also to be reduced to only 3 metres.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industries, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, said that the existing small size of the holes also trawl fish fry, resulting in the overall supply of fish to be affected.
However, the fishermen say that the large size of the hole causes their catch to decline by 60 percent.
Fishermen also said that the fry caught are sold as snacks for fishery cultivation and fertiliser.
The new policy also sets for fishermen that fish at Zone B (five nautical miles from shore) to not be allowed the services of foreigners.
The services of foreigners are only allowed for fishing in Zone C (12 nautical miles from the shore and above). Licencees mus be on the ships that sails the seas.