JOHOR BARU: The government has not ruled out destroying any foreign fishing vessels found in Malaysian waters, says Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Salahuddin Ayub (pic
He said this would be the government's last course of action if it found many foreign fishing vessels encroaching into Malaysian waters.
“The government has set up a multi-ministry task force made up of the Defence Ministry, Home Ministry and Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry to combat these vessels," said Salahuddin
He added joint enforcement efforts had worked to reduce the presence of foreign fishing vessels found in Malaysian waters, but there were still cases of foreign fishing vessels found in Malaysian waters.
The Pulai MP said this when met as he attended Johor Baru Fish Wholesaler Association's 40th anniversary luncheon here on Sunday (May 5).
It had been reported earlier that a multi-ministry task force would be set up to resolve the problem of foreign fishing vessels.
Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had said Cabinet had given the green light to form the special task force, which would be headed by his ministry.
It will also comprise the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry, Defence Ministry and Foreign Ministry.
“Cabinet has agreed to form this task force to resolve the issue urgently,” Muhyiddin told a press conference, adding that the task force would also be responsible for carrying out special operations to stop the encroachments.
The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, the Royal Malaysian Navy, Fisheries Department, police, Immigration Department and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission will also be roped in to carry out operations.
Muhyiddin said the number of reported encroachments had gone up due to the current squid season in the East Coast.