KOTA KINABALU: Fishermen in the east coast are starting to feel the pinch following the implementation of the dusk-to-dawn curfew.
Sandakan Fishery Association director Phua Pen Chee said fishermen using pukat jerut vessels could not go to sea.
“There are 13 to 14 crew per vessel and with the curfew in force, many of them cannot earn a living and may not even be able to feed their families.
“These fishermen need to go out at night as there are types of fish which are attracted to light. That is why fishing could only be carried out at night,” he said.
The 6pm to 6am curfew off six coastal districts began on July 19 and will be in force until Aug 2.
Phua said the association wanted the authorities to give out special permits to allow fishing in restricted areas, such as Tambisan and Kinabatangan, between 6pm and 6am.
The members also want special radio frequencies to be allocated to the fishermen so that they could contact authorities during emergencies, he added.
Phua said the fishermen should be allowed in safer areas, such as in northern Kudat.
“If this is approved, we need a permit to bring the catch back to Sandakan because the infrastructure in Kudat cannot accommodate our requirements,” he added.