KOTA KINABALU: More fishermen in Sabah’s east coast are installing the Automatic Identification System (AIS) and very high frequency (VHF) radios on their trawlers to boost security.
Eastern Sabah Security Command chief of staff (operations) Brig-Jen Datuk Md Rahim Mohammad said that fishermen have realised the importance of the move to enable them to communicate with the security command centre when facing criminal elements.
“They understand and appreciate the need to equip their boats with such equipment as it is meant for their own safety," he said while observing the fitting of the equipment on a trawler at the Lahad Datu jetty Thursday.
Esscom had asked all fishing and tugboat operators to equip their vessels with the AIS and VHF radios by August last year in view of a spate of cross-border kidnappings by Filipino gunmen along the Sabah borders with southern Philippines.
“This will not only allow us to monitor their movement while they are at sea, but it will also allow for security to respond quickly if they are in any distress,” he added.
Brig Jen Md Rahim said Esscom could provide assistance or security if it could determine the exact location of the trawlers.
He urged fishing trawler operators who have yet to fit their boats with AIS and VHF radios to do so immediately for their own security and safety.