Sun, 23 Jun 2024



Viets not involved in catching fish
Published on: Sunday, May 19, 2024
By: Ricardo Unto
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A visit to a river under the Tagal system.
AS for fishery resources, Jeffrey said the State has achieved an SSL of 106 per cent.

“In the first six months of 2023, the estimated export fisheries value was 21,313.94 metric tonnes (MT), equivalent to RM234.48 million. 

“In contrast, during the same period in 2022, there were 27,578.95MT exported, amounting to RM314.67 million. 

“This indicates a noticeable decline of 23 per cent compared to 2022. Specifically, there is a 23 per cent decrease in the quantity of exports and a decrease of 26 per cent in value.”

He added that in 2023, the seafood industry played a significant role in contributing to the Sabah economy, accounting for 240,173MT and a total value of RM1.763 billion.  

Jeffrey said there has been notable progress since Sabah gained the authority from Federal to issue deep-sea fishing licenses.

“The Sabah Deep Sea Fishing Licensing Empowerment C2, led by the Director of Fisheries Sabah, was granted this authority by the Director General of the Department of Fisheries Malaysia on Nov 26, 2021, following Section 3(4) of the Fisheries Act 1985 (Act 317).    

“This empowerment now enables the Sabah Fisheries Department (DOFS) to manage all deep-sea fishing licenses in Sabah and Labuan fully. 

“As a result, it has streamlined the application process and the issuance of permits and deep-sea licenses.”

To date, two deep-sea fishing licenses and 19 deep-sea fishing permits have been issued, while another six license applications are currently in progress.

He also explained that the DOFS does not depend on Vietnamese crews to catch fish in Sabah waters as happened under a previous government which led to various accusations.

Jeffrey visits a cattle farm.

“The employment of foreign crew members in fishing vessels is subject to prevailing government policies, which dictate recruitment from specific countries. 

“The authorisation and approval of foreign workers are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Immigration Sabah and the Sabah Labour Department.”  

He added that the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) is responsible for monitoring and addressing the issue of foreign fishermen encroaching on Sabah’s waters. 

“Since 2007, the MMEA has been responsible for safeguarding all Malaysian waters, including Sabah. 

“The DOFS collaborates closely with the primary enforcement agency, MMEA, and the marine police. 

“Their collaboration focuses on investigating and prosecuting cases related to offences under the Fisheries Act 1985,” he said. 

He said in instances where the marine police make arrests, these cases are transferred to DOFS for further investigation and prosecution. 

He also said that when MMEA apprehends vessels, the DOFS assists in inspecting and verifying the fishing equipment aboard the seized boat. 

“Efforts to combat the activities of Vietnamese boats intruding into national waters, including those of Sabah and Sarawak, are coordinated by the Naga Operation Committee, which comprises various maritime enforcement agencies, including DOFS. 

“This committee has been operational since 2019 and resulted in 53 arrests involving 366 Vietnamese fishermen.” 

Since 2019, DOFS has received 14 Vietnamese arrest cases, which were handed over to the Marine Police for further investigation and legal action. 

“Overall, the incursions by Vietnamese foreign fishermen have decreased and are being managed more effectively due to the implementation of Operation Naga,” he said. 


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