Sabah cracks down on illegal fishing tours in marine park

KOTA KINABALU: Six tour operators have been fined for offering fishing tours to tourists inside the protected Tungku Abdul Rahman marine park here.

Sabah Parks assistant director Maipol Sipait said their enforcement team identified the culprits through a special operation dubbed Ops Pancing on Wednesday (Sept 5).

He said the tour operators were fined RM3,000 each.

Fishing within the marine park constituted an offence under the Sabah Parks Enactment and Sabah Parks Regulations, and the tour operators were well aware of this, Maipol said.

He said conservationists and the public alike had noticed increasing fishing activities within the park, and this prompted them to alert the authorities.

In a statement, Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment minister Christina Liew said tour operators must comply with the law.

"We do not condone this illegal activity and will not hesitate to charge the operators found breaching rules," she said, adding that severe action will be taken against stubborn operators.