No ‘fish catch incentive’ for Tawau fishermen

About 20 to 30 fishermen here claim that they have not received their fish catch incentive for three months.

“I have been to the bank nine times and the money is not in my account,” lamented Sarsan Mariano, 60, from Batu Payong, who usually gets between RM50 and RM80 in the incentive monthly.

He had referred the matter to the local Fisheries Development Authority (LKIM) office where he goes daily to declare his fish catch in order to qualify for subsidised fuel, but only obtained an assurance that his grouse would be forwarded to the LKIM headquarters.

Sarsan, who became a fishermen at a very young age, told Bernama he gets an incentive of 10 sen for each kilogram of catch.

Muib Usman, 55, from Inderasabah about 40 km from town, said even though the RM70 to RM90 he gets monthly was minimal, it did help ease his burden of buying the subsidised petrol.

“I am supposed to declare my catch daily to LKIM but now I do it three times a week because I cannot afford to go there everyday,” he lamented.

Nukman Aliyudin Hamzah, 37, also from Inderasabah, said having to declare their catch to LKIM everyday was a burden in terms of transport, fare and time.

“The bus fare from Inderasabah to town is RM14 and taxi fare, RM20. And we have to think about paying RM1.25 per litre of the subsidised petrol. (A boat is limited to 20 litres.) Then we have to pay an additional RM2 for each container of petrol we carry on the bus,” he said.

Meanwhile, Tawau Fishermen’s Association chairman Hasan Timbasal said they would take up the fishermen’s grouses with LKIM.

“But, I have to stress here that delays in the payout are inevitable, such as when the supporting documents are incomplete,” he said.

– Bernama