KOTA KINABALU: The state government is urging Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) to increase enforcement to curb Vietnamese fishermen from encroaching the state’s waters. State Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Junz Wong said this is following such sightings by locals at Kuala Penyuthat. “This does not only affect our catch but also may destroy our marine nature ecology like the coral reefs. “MMEA needs to place their assets in coastal areas which are frequently encroached by foreign boats so it does not affect the livelihood of local fishermen,” he said in a statement here. Based on records, there are currently 11 local operators with 51 deep sea fishing vessels licensed with Sabah Fisheries Department actively operating. Wong said according to MMEA records, five Vietnamese vessels had been detained in Sabah waters so far with some serving punishment while the rest going through legal process. Based on the Fisheries Act 1985, foreign vessels detained in Malaysia waters can be fined RM1 million for boat owner or skipper, and RM100,000 for each crew member, while the ship can be seized for disposal. Previously Klias assemblyman Datuk Isnin Aliasnih revealed that these Vietnamese fishing boats have are rampant in Kuala Penyu, after he himself went down for a spot check in a local fishing boat.
State Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Junz Wong said this is following such sightings by locals at Kuala Penyuthat. (NSTP/MALAI ROSMAH TUAH)
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