Johor Fisheries Department is taking proactive measures to ensure the sustainability of fish resources and marine life in the state.
Its director Noraishah Hashim said these initiatives would help increase the population of marine life although the fishing zone had shrunk due to development.
They include erecting artificial reefs and fish aggregating devices or unjam, disallowing fishing boats from other states from landing their catch in Johor and ensuring sustainable resources through better fishing management.
“With all these, we hope fishermen can still enjoy a bountiful catch and earn a steady income,” said Noraishah.
She said coastal erosion along Gelang Patah and Pontian from high waves and oil spills in the Straits of Malacca had impacted fish population in those two areas.
“The natural habitat for mussels along Teluk Jawa up to Masai is also declining and fishing activities are dwindling,” she said.
Noraishah said a collision between two vessels in the waters off Johor Port in Pasir Gudang in January 2017 had caused more than RM1mil in losses to fishermen and fish breeders.
She said the department released about two million udang galah (freshwater prawns) and freshwater fish fry in rivers in Johor yearly.
“At the same time, we also encourage fishermen to venture into aquaculture or fish farming to ensure food security in Johor,” added Noraishah.
She said 484 fishermen had ventured into fish cage farming in Johor Baru, Kota Tinggi and Pontian.
“The species being bred include siakap (seabass), jenahak (golden snapper) and red snapper,” she added.
She said fishermen were also involved in seashell farming in Batu Pahat, Johor Baru, Kota Tinggi, Tangkak and Pontian.