Sea sand mining off Selangor, Perak reducing catch, says Fisheries Dept chief

Danial Dzulkifly
The Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia says off-shore sand mining activities have affected the livelihood of thousands of coastal fishermen in Perak and Selangor. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 24 — The seafood haul from Selangor and Perak has declined sharply as a result of off-shore sand mining activities both legal and illegal, according to the Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia (LKIM).

This has affected the livelihood of thousands of coastal fishermen in both states, its chairman told Berita Harian in an interview published today.

“However, LKIM does not have the authority to control sea sand mining activities as it falls under the jurisdiction of several other agencies.

“What is sure, this activity is affecting sea life and threatening the local habitat. The effects are being felt by fishermen operating in Zone A,” he was quoted saying, referring to one of four fishing zones as categorised by the government.

Zone A is for fishing activities not more than five nautical miles from the coast.

Faiz urged local authorities to increase their monitoring of sea sand miners and crack down on the ones operating without permits.

He also proposed the government integrate the different agencies for better enforcement and proactive protection of the sea environment.

The Malay daily also reported a spokesman for the Selangor Fisheries Department saying local fishermen used to bring back up to 20,000 tonnes of clams as recent as 10 years ago, but the haul has drastically been lowered between two and three tonnes nowadays.

The unnamed spokesman claimed the two biggest contributors were sea sand mining and industrial pollution.

Other activities that have affected the seafood yield include land reclamation projects, the destruction of mangrove forests along the coast and intrusion by foreign fishermen.

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