THE Johor Fisheries Department has deployed 12 artificial reefs worth RM355,000 in Pulau Mertang and Pulau Lima, Mersing, as part of its efforts to protect the marine habitat.
State agriculture, agro-based industry, and rural committee chairman Datuk Zahari Sarip said artificial reefs and unjam or Fish Aggregating Devices (Fad) are important in increasing the fishery resources of the state.
“This is in line with the state government’s effort to strengthen our food security,” he said when contacted.
He added that since 2007, a total of 130 artificial reefs worth RM5.5mil have been placed in the Johor waters.
He said the artificial reefs would boost marine population and prevent trawling activities.
Zahari added that Fad are often placed around the islands in Mersing to help the local coastal fishermen increase their income.
“Fad would usually attract fish, and we have identified some locations where we can help the fishermen catch them sustainably.
“Tour guides can bring tourists for snorkelling to see some of the marine life,” he said.
The Johor Fisheries Depart-ment conducted this activity annually to ensure continuous protection of marine life and biodiversity, he said.
The state government has also allocated RM300,000 to Kampung Orang Asli Putting, Segamat, for the Kampung Orang Asli (Koa) Sejahtera pioneer project.
“This allocation will be used to hold educational programmes, nurture economic activities and improve Orang Asli villages.
“The project aims to ensure that the Orang Asli are not left out of the Maju Johor 2030 agenda,” said Zahari.
Koa Sejahtera is also supported by the Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa), Johor Fisheries Department, Johor Education Department and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Johor, he added.
“We will ensure the Orang Asli can continue their education at higher learning institutions.
“Jakoa will be in charge of making sure that at least 10 families from Koa Putting can generate a minimum income of RM2,000 a month for the next five years.”