Published on: Tuesday, September 24, 2013
This was the main objective of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) sealed between both in a ceremony, witnessed by Deputy Chief Minister-cum-Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Datuk Yahya Hussin, at Wisma Pertanian, here, Monday.
The documents were signed and exchanged between Ko-Nelayan General Manager Datuk Masood Salleh and Tripple Millenium CEO Datuk Halim Hamat.
Yahya's Assistant Minister Datuk Musbah Jamli, the Ministry's Permanent Secretary Datuk Ujang Sulani, Ko-Nelayan Chairman Datuk Abd Mijul Unaini and his Deputy Chairman Datuk Awang Kadin Tang, among others, were also present.
Yahya, in his speech, welcomed the smart partnership between both to develop the yet-to-be fully explored deep-sea fishing industry potential in the State as it would definitely boost the whole fishing industry.
Deep-sea fishing industry development is expected to increase the fish haul quantity within the State waters. The State fisheries annual statistics showed there were 184.2 tonnes of fish unloaded in year 2007 and 62.56 tonnes of these were exported, while the State also imported 19.82 tonnes.
According to Masood, there is a great potential for Sabah to develop its deep-sea fishing industry.
He said Ko-Nelayan, as the state statutory body, has its own strength like experienced manpower, fish landing complexes that are currently available and those in the process of construction as well as suitable lands that can be developed.
Triple Millenium, on the other hand, is a Bumiputera company based in Pasir Puteh, Kelantan, which has vast experience in deep-sea fishing in the peninsula, he said, adding the company is presently operating 16 deep-sea fishing vessels.
He said the company, which has been in the business since 2005, also has a close relationship with the Government, especially the Agriculture and Agro-based Ministry and Federal Fisheries Department.
"I believe Ko-Nelayan and Triple Millenium will be able to have a business relation in the said field that benefits each other. The sealed MoU is a start for both to have further cooperation or joint venture in fisheries-related businesses in future," said Masood.
When asked later, Masood said for a start they would be focusing in the West Coast of Sabah by developing the deep-sea fishing industry in Kudat before expanding to the East Coast.
Presently, there are about 20,000 fishermen in Sabah, most of whom just catching fish along the shoreline.
Meanwhile, Masood said the fishermen, especially those in the East Coast, are already back to doing their routine activity, after their activity was temporarily interrupted during the Lahad Datu foreign intrusion incident.
He said fishermen in the East Coast, particularly at those areas near where the incident took place, faced problem to do their routine activity during the said incident but it was just for a short period of time.