Pengerang sees tail end of its Lobster Industry

Pengerang is the only place in Malaysia where lobsters are found.

The tip of the southeastern part of Johor is shallow and protected from the monsoons. This seems to be an ideal place for lobsters to breed.

Lobster lovers are not the only ones interested in Pengerang. Petronas and the government are also interested in this part of the state.

They plan to set up an oil and gas hub where the Independent Deep Water Petroleum Terminal will be built. This is a terminal that is part of the Pengerang Integrated Complex.

Due to land reclamation work carried out by contractors employed by PIC developers, the lobster harvest has deteriorated significantly.

Many fishermen here claimed that the number of lobsters in the area has reduced tremendously due to pollution caused by land reclamation works.

“The movement of trawlers transporting sands and stones has damaged the corals in the area.

“These corals are where the lobsters are found,” said Leong Yew Guan – a local fisherman.

“ I lost my daily income due to the pollution caused by land reclamation work.

For the past four days I have been going home empty handed,” he added.

The state government has promised to relocate the fishermen to a nearby area which is about 15 to 20 km away from Pengerang but the fishermen claimed that there would be some conflicts and frictions anticipated among the local fishermen at the new location.

“At the moment, there are existing fishermen at the new location. If we would have go to their area for fishing, this would be causing conflicts between us and them. We do not wish to disturb their livelihood, “said another local fisherman.

Under Phase One of the PIC project, about 3,000 people in Pengerang have to leave their homes and sources of income by March next year.

The grand PIC project will wipe out the lobster industry in Malaysia and along with that the livelihood of 200 over of fishermen.

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