KOTA KINABALU: Sabah government must come up with serious measures to stamp out fish bombing activities within its waters, says Sabah Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) chief Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.
He said the security authorities and Fisheries Department also need to double up the enforcement of existing laws on this matter.
“We need to increase the effort to stamp out fish bombing activity which is becoming quite rampant in Sabah.
“This is because this activity is not only threatening and destroying the fish source and coral reefs, but also endangering the life of tourists, especially those going for scuba diving in the coral reef areas, ” he said in a statement on Wednesday (Feb 19).
Hajiji, who is also Sulaman state assemblyman, said he has raised the fish bombing issue at the Sabah state legislative assembly sitting on November 19 last year.
He said the activity is so worrying because not only that the fish bombs can kill the fish, big and small, but will also damage the coral reefs.
He said that on July 5,2019, two divers from China and their diving instructor, a local, were killed in waters off Pulau Kalapuan in Semporna, due to the rampant use of fish bombing.
“According to a report by the WWF-Malaysia, the seven seismic detectors installed within the district of Semporna alone recorded 1,195 blasts from June to December of 2018.
“There were also 24 cases of arrests made on the use of fish bombs in 2018 and 39 cases of arrests made as of the end of last year. This is very worrying for us.
“Therefore, I urge the government to take stern action to curb this irresponsible acts, ” he added.
He hoped that the state authorities hold awareness and education campaigns for communities where fish bombing activities occur.
“Stern legal action must be enforced on the illegal immigrants for the benefit, security and future of the people and Sabah, ” he added.
The issue of fish bombing activities close to Sabah diving spots was raised by divers last month.