BALIK PULAU: Marine police confiscated more than RM18.3mil worth of fishing equipment and illegally netted seafood last year, said Bukit Aman head of administration (marine police) Senior Asst Comm Abdul Manaf Othman.
He said this included equipment and catches from Vietnamese and Thai vessels seized in 630 cases nationwide.
“The goods were confiscated because they were fishing in our waters.
“The amount seized this year is huge compared with that of the previous year of RM3.8mil. It is almost RM15mil more,” he told a press conference after a National Blue Ocean Strategy meeting with the Department of Fisheries at a restaurant in Batu Maung, Penang, yesterday.
Department of Fisheries’ Resources Protection Division head of enforcement Abdullah Jaafar said the use of destructive fishing equipment had resulted in the decline of fishery resources globally.
Abdullah said that among the destructive equipment used were trawlers (pukat tunda), push nets (pukat rawa sorong) and pukat buaya.
He said it was also illegal to use electricity, explosives and poisons.
“The threat to fishery resources is worrying,” he said.
Abdullah said that based on the department’s intelligence and calculations, there were around 1,100 illegal nets currently being used off the coasts of Penang, Perlis, Kedah, Perak and Selangor.
“We ask the fishermen to cooperate with us and understand the importance of taking care of our fishery resources.
“Destructive equipment, which is prohibited under the law, will damage the stock of juvenile fish that haven’t had the opportunity to grow,” he said.
He said noncompliance would result in enforcement action being taken by the Department of Fisheries or marine police.
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