MALACCA: Plans are afoot to transform the deserted Muara Sungai Duyong Fishery Hub into a sustainable economy ecosystem benefitting the fishermen and community.
Fisheries Development Board (LKIM) chairman Datuk Irmohizam Ibrahim said following the board receiving the hub’s management right from the Irrigation and Drainage Department in November last year, many have come forward with ideas to improve the place to be more than just a landing hub for the fishermen.
“I have heard briefings and grouses from the fishermen associations on their concerns about this hub.
“Following the takeover of management, we wish to set things right once and for all for this new hub to be fully utilised not just by the fishermen but also the community,” he said after presenting RM120,000 Cost of Living Allowance to 637 southern region fishermen at the hub here recently.
He said LKIM was aware of the hub’s issues, such as the shallow river mouth and mud at the riverbed during low tides, and was in the midst of research to rectify the problems.
“The current condition of the hub is not suitable for boats to berth and adjustments need to be made to suit the needs of the fishermen.
“We are also looking at value-adding the place and its area to be developed into a decent economy ecosystem for the fishermen, community and even visitors, possibly with chalets, medan ikan bakar and fish market.
“This will make the hub an economy source for all stakeholders to improve their standard of living,” he said.
Irmohizam, who is also MP Kuala Selangor, noted that some 40 boats and 60 sampans berth near the river mouth of Sungai Duyong daily and it was only right to make proper changes to the hub for it to be properly utilised.
“There are several things to settle first, such as the hub’s design, management structure and land title, which is still under the Director General of Lands and Mines Department.
“Further modifications to the hub design will be done in three phases with proper impact analysis on all parties at stake.
“We will study the changes needed from all angles to make sure they are right,” he said, adding that he hoped the hub could be ready by the end of this year.
The Muara Sungai Duyong Fishery Hub was completed in 2010 with the cost of RM40mil.
However, its improper design and planning brought about mud problems especially during low tides, making it difficult for fishing boats and sampans to move.
Fishermen refused to berth there as their engines’ propeller would easily damage due to the shallow river mouth and thick mud, and have been staying put at their usual fishing village area along the river mouth.
On a related development, Irmohizam also noted that LKIM was in the midst of weeding out “fishermen with delicate hands” to stop leakages and abuse in the distribution of allowance to fishermen in a whitening programme nationwide.
“I have come across cases like this, whereby ‘fishermen’ who came to receive their allowance have hands that were softer than mine.
“I think this is strange as they claimed that they go to the sea to catch fish,” he quipped, adding that thorough investigations have been ongoing to identify fake fishermen receiving government allowance.
“We want to make sure the money reaches those who really deserve it,” he said, adding that impersonators will have their allowance withdrawn with strict actions awaiting them.