Fishermen in dire straits

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 01 Jun 2019

BAGAN DATUK: A majority of the fishermen in Hutan Melintang here have been forced to stop operations after the Malaysia Fisheries Development Board (LKIM) cut off their subsidised diesel supply.

Fisherman Lee Chu Soi said the move caused more than 700 large fishing boats to be grounded and was affecting the fishermen’s livelihood and supply of seafood since last week.

Lee, who is also Hutan Melintang Hai San Association chairman, said they last obtained the diesel supply from LKIM on May 23.

“There were only two tankers that day with one which could only cater to two to three large boats. Some fishermen were forced to buy non-subsidised diesel, but it is costly,” he told The Star when contacted.

Lee said this was not the first time the fishermen had to deal with a lack of diesel.

“We were hit earlier in January but this month was harder on us due to the high demand for Hari Raya. If no one can help us there will be a shortage of seafood,” he said.

When asked, Lee said none of the fishermen in the area sold their subsidised diesel to third parties.

“Why would we sell it when we need it most? Maybe it is happening in other areas but definitely not here,” he said.

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