KOTA KINABALU: The Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry is proactively tracing and registering fishermen in Sabah who have not obtained licenses to ensure they are eligible for an allowance.
Its minister Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee said registration with the Fisheries Department would allow the fishing community to receive government assistance, particularly the RM300 allowance for fishermen.
He said Sabah had many fisherman without proper licences, a problem not unique to the state.
"The ministry is taking action to solve this issue through the Fisheries Department with the help of Persatuan Nelayan Kawasan (PNK) and the state fishermen association (PNN)," said Ronald after attending a gathering with the fishing community of Pulau Jambongan Paitan in Beluran on Monday (March 8).
Ronald said there are 210 'authentic' fishermen in Jambongan Island who do not have fishing licences.
"The government wants the special allocations for fishermen to reach the target groups so that they can receive help like the livelihood allowance and fuel subsidy.
"Under Budget 2021, RM151mil has been set aside for the fishermen's allowance," he added.
At the same time, the Beluran MP said the ministry was also updating and rechecking the list of registered fishermen nationwide to ensure that they are full-time fishermen.
He also said PNK and PNN play active roles to ensure that the registration and legalisation procedures run smoothly, and also to determine that only legitimate fishermen are registered for licensing.