WITH or without a positive Government policy, the marine product manufacturing sector is expected to grow significantly in the future and will benefit players such as QL Resources Bhd.
“There is always demand for our products,” said managing director Chia Song Kun, adding that marine products such as surimi did not have to compete with those from China as the main raw material must be sourced locally.
So, one of the future challenges for QL Resources is to ensure continuous supply of fish.
At the moment, the company is venturing into deepwater fishing, operating from Endau in Pahang and Tuaran in Sabah to ensure continuous supply of fresh fish.
There are 40 types of fishes used to make surimi and most of them can be found easily in Malaysia's deepwater.
QL Resources operates two types of fishing boats - the purseiner (pukat jerut) and the trawler (pukat hanyut).
Each trawler is manned by a crew of six to10 persons, and will remain at sea for three to seven days each time. The vessels are equipped with modern machineries and refrigerators to process and store the catch.
Chia said Malaysia's long coastlines provided great opportunity for the company to explore deepwater fishing.
“We don’t have to spend a long period in the sea like fishermen from Thailand, who typically will spend about one month,” he said in justifying the company’s expansion into deepwater fishing.
He said Malaysia's fishing resources was also not over-exploited like in some countries, partly due to the strict licensing requirements which limited the number of boats plying the country's fishing areas.
Chia said the company currently operated ten 100-tonne fishing boats. Five are based in Endau and the other five in Tuaran.
“These vessels will catch all kinds of fishes, but those that we do not use will be sold to the market,” he said.
He said deepwater fishing requires special skills and he believed the company had the expertise to make this venture more successful.
“I even went on board one of the trawlers to get some hands-on experience,” he added.
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