EIGHTY-ONE bubu naga (fish traps) and a boat worth RM15,000 were seized in a joint operation at Pantai Bagan Tengkorak in Tanjung Karang, Selangor.
Selangor Fisheries Department (DOF) and marine police, who were hot on the heels of suspected law-breakers, found an abandoned boat believed to have been used for placing traps.
Selangor DOF director Noraisyah Abu Bakar said boat operators escaped into nearby mangrove swamps upon spotting enforcement personnel.
She said the operation was carried out after receiving public feedback on local fishermen being involved in illegal activities along the shoreline.
“The department has received numerous complaints, especially on social media platforms, about fish traps being placed in the area,” she said in a statement.
Noraisyah warned that the use of bubu naga was an offence under Section 11(3)(c) of the Fisheries Act 1985.
She said compliance with the law was crucial for food security and continuous supply of fish for consumers.
Bubu naga is harmful to the food chain because small nets catch marine animals of all sizes and maturity, leaving behind a smaller number to populate the ecosystem.
Such traps are often placed between 0.5 and 5 nautical miles from the estuary where fish, prawns and crabs habitate and reproduce.
The traps, which are left overnight, are placed during high-tide and collected at low-tide.
In a March 4 report by a Malay daily, Noraisyah said bubu naga of various sizes were being sold on online shopping platforms.
“The price per unit is between RM50 and RM60.
“Many buy in bulk online because they think they can avoid being detected by the authorities,” she said, adding that DOF would be carrying out more operations to nab fishermen involved in the activity along Selangor’s shoreline.
Earlier this year, DOF seized 715 bubu naga valued at RM43,000 during an operation involving 18 jetties at Bagan Tengkorak and Sungai Besar in Sabak Bernam.