KOTA KINABALU: No more mangrove land will be approved for shrimp farming in Sabah.
Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Datuk Junz Wong said mangrove destruction must be stopped for the sake of the environment.
“The destruction of valuable natural environment assets are irreversible.”
“Instead, we should encourage agricultural development, Wong said during a visit to a privately-owned shrimp farm at Sungai Telaga in Pitas to learn more about how farming is done.
Wong urged prawn farmers to go upstream to create hatcheries as well as downstream to process the prawns for export.
“We need to make sure that there is enough for the local market before exporting.”
Meanwhile, Wong said he rejected an application to start prawn farming on mangrove land.
A representative from six villages which were initially going to be affected by shrimp farming on the land, welcomed the minister’s decision.
“We have been pleading for the government to stop mangrove destruction and prevent businesses from coming in,” said Mastupang Somoi.
He said the six villages were Kampung Sungai Eloi, Kampung Datong, Kampung Boluuh, Kampung Ungkup, Kampung Gumpa and Kampung Telaga.
“This also helps preserve and protect the numerous species of wildlife that are living in this area,” he said.
Mastupang added a large mangrove area was earlier taken for development.”
We hope the company involved would abide by the rules and not affect the environment adversely.
“We also hope the government will help villagers affected,” he added.