JOHOR BARU: The Johor government is identifying the number of fishermen affected by the recent oil spill in the Tebrau Straits.
State Environment and Health committee chairman Datuk Ayub Rahmat said the fishermen would be compensated for the cost of replacing damaged fishing gear like nets and kelong located within the affected areas.
“The Fisheries Department is identifying the exact number.
“There are about 300 and 400 fishermen living in those areas,” said Ayub after an official visit to the Johor Civil Defence headquarters here.
He said there were at least 10 cages involved in the breeding of fish and mussels along the straits, but only one was badly affected by the oil spill.
“We will help the affected fishermen and I hope they will be patient,” said Ayub, adding the compensation might amount to RM1mil.
The Singapore-registered vessel Wan Hai 301 crashed into the Gibraltar-registered APL Denver docked at Johor Port after suffering generator failure on Jan 4.
Some 300 tonnes of fuel oil leaked from the APL Denver and spilled along the shoreline of Kampung Pasir Putih, Kampung Teluk Kabung and Kampung Perigi Aceh.
The Johor Port Authority said it would cost about RM5mil to clean up the oil slick in the waters off Pasir Gudang and the owners of the vessels would have to foot the bill.
JPA general manager Muhammad Razif Ahmad said about 100 personnel from 10 agencies were involved in the clean-up operation. Several beaches in Singapore were also affected by the spill.
The vessels were detained under Section 38 of the Environmental Quality Act 1974.