KOTA KINABALU (Bernama): The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) is applying to the government to acquire a mothership to further strengthen existing assets for the safety of the country's waters.
MMEA director-general Datuk Seri Zulkifili Abu Bakar (pic) said the vessel, expected to cost from RM250mil to RM300mil, could carry six boats and facilitate the use of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to increase the effectiveness of the agency in preventing encroachments including by foreign fishermen.
"With such a ship, we will be able to oversee a wider area. When the mothership is 140 nautical miles from land, we will drop the boats. By using the UAV, we will be able to control an area of up to 50 miles radius (from the mothership)," he said.
Zulkifili said this to reporters after a courtesy call on Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal at the Sabah State Administration Centre here on Thursday (Nov 1).
Also present were his deputy Datuk Mohd Zubil Mat Som and Sabah MMEA director Rear Admiral (Maritime) Kamaruszaman Abu Hassan.
He said the mothership would be capable of strengthening the surveillance of the country's waters, especially preventing encroachments by foreign fishermen and preventing loss of the country's marine resources which ran into billions of ringgit each year. – Bernama