KUALA TERENGGANU: The monsoon season, marked by continuous rain and thunderstorms, has kept thousands of coastal fishermen idle due to weather warnings and rough sea conditions.
North Kuala Terengganu Fishermen Association chairman Jaafar @ A. Rahman Abu Bakar said fishermen were not able to go to sea since the start of the monsoon season because the waves were big and dangerous.
“The monsoon season is already here with heavy rain and thunderstorms. It will be too dangerous for the fishermen to go to sea.
“Most of the coastal fishermen’s boats are not equipped with compass or navigation systems to guide them home.
“To avoid any untoward incident, they will spend this time mending their nets, fixing and oiling their boats, repairing their homes and tending to jobs they often ignore during the other months,” he said.
There are about 1,000 fishing boats belonging to coastal fishermen in North Kuala Terengganu, while there are a total of more than 10,000 fishermen in the state, with 8,000 registered with the state Fisheries Department.
The state is currently experiencing continuous rain and thunderstorms, with the Meteorology Department warning of strong winds of up to 50kph and waves as high as 3.5m.
The weather is not much different in South Kuala Terengganu.
According to its fishermen’s association chairman, Hasan Ismail, some 1,200 coastal fishermen had stopped going to sea as the weather has turned for the worse.